Shelby County issues new health restrictions amid soaring COVID-19 cases
By Diana Fedinec
December 22, 2020
Due to the recent accelerated rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths in Shelby County and its strain on area hospitals, Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter issued “Safer at Home” Directive No. 16 and Face Mask Order No. 4 on Dec. 21, 2020.
The new directive, effective Dec. 26, 2020 to Jan. 22, 2021, asks Shelby County residents to remain at home as much as possible and curtails social activities including congregating with anyone outside of one’s household. Other restrictions include closing specific businesses, decreasing the capacity at retail and fitness facilities and requiring employers to allow non-essential workers to work from home if feasible. Restaurants are encouraged to shutter or operate at 25% capacity; dining in is strongly discouraged.
The new face mask order requires customers to wear a mask at a restaurant or bar (except when eating or drinking) and at gyms and fitness facilities unless a medical condition prevents wearing of a mask, in which case a face shield should be substituted.
During the week of December 14, 2020, the health department reported an average of 670 new cases per day and more than 6 deaths per day. ICU hospitalization in the region had exceeded 90% every day since Dec.7.
The full text of Health Directive No. 16 and Face Mask Order No. 4 may be viewed at www.shelbytnhealth.com/healthdirectives.
For more information about Shelby County Health Department’s COVID-19 response, visit http://www.shelbytnhealth.com/.
For more information about Southwest’s COVID-19 response, visit the College’s Coronavirus website at www.southwest.tn.edu/coronavirus.