New health directive reopens drinking fountains, removes plexiglass barriers

Data shows case numbers going in wrong direction
Shelby County Health Department
Shelby County Health Department(WMC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 1:42 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department announced a new health directive Thursday that lifts even more COVID-19 restrictions.

Health Directive No. 23 allows drinking fountains to reopen and plexiglass barriers to be removed.

The health department says the federal mandate on public transportation remains in effect and county buildings that house people involuntarily still require masks.

Health Directive No. 23 goes into effect July 10 and will remain in effect until Aug. 7.

Read the full text of the new health directives here.

The new health directive continues encouraging vaccines for everyone 12 and older.

Shelby County is seeing increases in COVID-19 cases, according to the health department, which reported the seven-day COVID-19 case average more than doubled in the last six days -- increasing from 26 July 1 to 59 July 6.

The health department also says the reproductive rate is now 1.22, the highest it’s been since June 25, 2020. The seven-day average positivity rate is now 4.5 percent, up from 2.9 percent July 1.

So far, 58 cases of the Delta variant have been identified in Shelby County with another 26 suspected cases.

The health department projects the Delta variant could become the dominant strain in Shelby County by the end of July.

“All of the COVID-19 vaccines that have received emergency use authorization in the United States, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson, provide a high degree of protection against the Delta variant, as well as the other COVID-19 strains,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County health officer. “Even the so-called ‘breakthrough cases,’ that have occurred in fully-vaccinated individuals are usually mild and rarely require hospitalization. The unvaccinated are the most at-risk for serious illness from the Delta variant.”

For information about vaccines, visit

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