Thursday, November 19, 2020

Health Official Offers Few Details on Expected Restrictions

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2020 at 12:48 PM

click to enlarge A file photo of Dr. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County Health Department officer. - CITY OF MEMPHIS/FACEBOOK
  • City of Memphis/Facebook
  • A file photo of Dr. Bruce Randolph, Shelby County Health Department officer.

A new health directive with likely (maybe?) new restrictions on bars and restaurants is expected no later than Monday, according to Shelby County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph.

Randolph was vague on details of the new directive during a briefing Thursday. It wasn't even clear when the new rules will come out. He said the health department is working with local elected leaders on the directive.

“We will issue new directive no later than Monday, maybe sooner than that, depending on the progress we make on it” Randolph said. “But by Monday we are anticipating issuing a new directive.”

Asked for details of the new order, Randolph seemed reluctant to reveal details, saying only that, “we are still looking at specific data” and adding a message to business owners that “we all have to do our parts and adhere to the safety measures in the health directive.”

While he never directly enumerated any new restrictions, Randolph said, “wearing a mask at all times will be emphasized. Other than moments when you’re eating or drinking, you will be expected to have a mask on while socializing in whatever setting. We’re asking you to wear your mask.”
Randolph hinted that restrictions could come for the numbers of patrons allowed inside restaurants saying, “the number of people in an establishment may not necessarily be what it used to be. We’re looking at ways we can effect that.”

He also noted enforcement may be part of a new directive saying, “Fellow citizens, it’s important that we all abide by the safety measures and adhere to them.” Randolph said he’s heard of restaurants that pretend to close at 10 p.m., reopen later, and stay open past allowed hours.

“We can no longer have that,” Randolph said. “If we are to remain open, we've got to do it right. We've got to mask up and we've got to separate.”

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