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Health officials: New health, mask directives coming soon – WREG NewsChannel 3

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials announced new mask and health directives are coming in the next week.

On Wednesday, the Shelby County Health Department will be issuing a new face mask directive which says people who are not able to tolerate masks due to a medical reason are exempt from wearing one. No medical documentation will be needed to prove it.

Masks are still required in Memphis and Shelby County.

As for the health directive, Dr. Bruce Randolph said residents will have to wear face masks when exercising in gyms, dining at restaurants or in the general public. Restaurants will now be allowed to remain open until 1 a.m. and eight people in the same household can now sit together at tables.

The health directive will go into effect on March 20.

Dr. Bruce Randolph with the health department encouraged everyone to keep adhering to the guidelines.

“There has been some talk about the risk of an oubtreak of the variant. That possibility is real but if we continue to hold to what we are doing, we continue to practice the preventive measures that are incorporated in the health directive we can prevent the transmission of this virus. We encourage you, remain steadfast. Hold the course and let’s continue to get back to some sense of normalcy,” he said.

In addition to the health directives, it was announced the city’s vaccination sites will be closed on Wednesday due to inclement weather, as severe thunderstorms are forecasted for the area.

“Tomorrow our public pods will not be open for vaccinations,” Doug Mcgowen, City of Memphis Chief Operating Officer, said. “Given the nature of the outdoor, the drive-thru and some of the tent facilities we have. The likelihood of hail, lightning, thunderstorms and even tornado warnings in the area, we will not to vaccinations appointments tomorrow.”

Those with appointments will receive an email from the city to reschedule Thursday, Friday or Saturday of this week.

As for who’s eligible right now to receive the vaccine, the age range is those 65 and older and people with health conditions.

“People who are over 18 that have a medical condition that has the potential to make COVID-19 infection get worse faster are now eligible to vaccinated,” Chief Gina Sweat, Memphis Fire, said.

That includes people with high blood pressure, diabetes. Asthma, pregnant women and those who are overweight.

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