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New health directive loosens more restrictions in Shelby Co., all mandates will be reevaluated

Updated: Apr. 13, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There are more signs we are closer to the pandemic finish line than we ever have been. Shelby County health officials said they’re keeping a close eye on case counts over the next 30 days.

If cases don’t surge, some major changes could come to the county including the reevaluation of the mask mandate.

First, a new health directive relaxing more restrictions will be released this week.

Shelby County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph said it will allow the opening of buffets and include an announcement about live music and dancing.

Even more, Randolph said all mandates will be reviewed if cases don’t surge over the next 30 days.

“The mask mandate is something we would consider,” he said. “We would have to have a really good reason to get rid of it, but we will evaluate all of our measures.”

Over the last seven days, Shelby County has been averaging fewer than 150 cases a day. The Shelby County Health Department calls it an uptick, but only slight.

Health officials continue to say the more people get vaccinated the more we can skirt any kind of case surge. Wednesday at the federal vaccination site at the Pipkin Building you can get your shot without an appointment from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The site can administer more than 3,000 shots a day, but we have yet to reach that number since the federal site opened last week.

“We’re going to continue to make it as easy to get access to a vaccine as possible,” said Memphis COO Doug McGowen.

An overestimation of demand at the site has caused some vaccines to go to waste. The City of Memphis said 25 vaccines were wasted on Saturday because not enough people showed up for a shot.

In all, since the City of Memphis took over vaccine distribution, fewer than 100 shots have been wasted, and all have been reported to the Tennessee Department of Health.

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