No changes yet to Memphis, Shelby Co. mask guidance following CDC recommendation

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:12 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As cities and companies across the country amend their masking rules due to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Action News 5 looked into how these changes would impact Memphis and Shelby County.

“In areas with substantial and high transmission, CDC recommends fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings to help prevent the spread of the Delta variant,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

We reached out to both the city and the county mayor for a second day, as well as majority of the members of the Memphis and Shelby County COVID-19 task force to see if discussions about bringing back a mask mandate are happening but have not heard back.

Mayor Lee Harris did tweet that the current plan is to follow the CDC guidlelines and urge masking in indoor locations. He says the next health direective is scheduled to be issued August 4.

Task force member Dr. Jeff Warren says the county should go back to masking up.

“Yes, I would. I think based off this, I think Shelby County we should reenact our mask mandate and I’d like to see the city do the same thing,” Warren said.

The Shelby County Health Department said Tuesday it was evaluating the new CDC guidance, but reiterated they recommend people get vaccinated.

Vaccination numbers have dropped significantly over time and the weekly positivity rate is rising. currently it’s at 11 percent, the highest in more than a year.

The health department is reporting over 2,600 active cases in Shelby County, 59% of those cases are in people age 34 or below.

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