Shelby County Health Department clarifies mask order for children

Updated: Jul. 7, 2020 at 3:00 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The director of the Shelby County Health Department offered clarity Tuesday on the county’s new mask mandate.

SCHD director Dr. Alisa Haushalter said Tuesday children 12 and younger are exempt from the mandatory mask order. But for days, confusion persisted about the requirements after different statements from the health department.

When the health department first announced the order last Friday, Haushalter said everyone older than 12 must wear a mask when in public. Then over the weekend, a health department spokesperson said the order actually applies to much younger children -- older than 2 -- which is reflected in the health directive posted on the SCHD website.

Come Tuesday, the health department director again said the order was for children older than 12.

When asked to clarify, Haushalter said the order posted on their website is incorrect.

“What is published online is not a correct reflection,” said Haushalter. “Anyone through the age of 2, it is not recommended for them to wear a mask. As far as open and in the public, we are utilizing the recommendations of the state and CDC to say anybody above the age of 12 while out in the public should wear a mask.”

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