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Public Health Directive


Pursuant to the Declarations of a State of Emergency by Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris and the Necessity of a Communicable Disease Control Threat Procedure by the Shelby County Health Department

TO: Residents, Visitors, and Owners/Operators of Services, Facilities, and/or Businesses in Shelby County, Tennessee

FROM: Lee Harris, Shelby County Mayor

Bruce Randolph, M.D., M.P.H, Shelby County Health Officer

LaSonya Harris Hall, M.H.A., Ph.D., Interim Director

RE: Public Health Announcement on COVID-19 Response

Directive 22: Summary of Changes

• Provides a link to CDC ongoing guidance on what you can safely do if fully vaccinated.

• Removes references to the authority of private businesses and institutions to require masks as it is their authority to generally manage their facilities and operations. 

• Continues to require individuals and businesses to cooperate with the Department's long-standing duty to carry out disease prevention measures, such as contact tracing, upon learning of a positive (or symptoms of) a COVID-19 case.

• Combines all business-related recommendations into one section.

• Shortens the recommended preventive measures for businesses by eliminating guidance related to physical distancing as businesses are better suited for making site-specific determinations on appropriate spacing due to the increasing number of fully-vaccinated individuals in Shelby County.

Services and/or Businesses – Requests for Health Department Technical Assistance Regarding Safety Measures and/or Protocols:

Public Health Directive

Printable version of Health Directive No. 22 June 9, 2021

The majority of this document is helpful guidance for assuming personal responsibility for yourself, family, friends, and neighbors in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We should get vaccinated and encourage our family and our friends to do so. We should continue to get tested for COVID-19 when experiencing symptoms of the virus. Testing is free and so is the vaccine. In summary, we urge you – everyone – to continue to be considerate and responsible, not only for your own health, but also for the well-being of those you love and the entire community.

All persons age 12 and older are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

All persons age 18 and older are eligible to receive the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.

Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as possible.
For current eligibility, check here:

Key Things to Know About COVID-19 Vaccines

What You Can Do When You’re Fully Vaccinated

This Directive provides guidance on:

A. Wearing Face Masks/Face Coverings;

B. Preventive Measures for Individuals; and

C. Preventive Measures for all Services and Businesses.

A. Wearing Face Masks/Coverings:

Guidance for Wearing Masks

Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs

CDC requires wearing of face masks while on public transportation and at transportation hubs

1. Masks must be worn in Shelby County in the following circumstances:

a. You are awaiting, boarding, disembarking, or traveling on public airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares as they are traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories. This includes hubs, airports, terminals, stations, and ports of entry.

b. You are entering property on which a public authority (local, state, or federal) has a propriety interest, and that authority requires you to wear a mask while in the property and has posted “mask required” notice signs at frequently used entrances.

Judges with courtrooms in Shelby County buildings retain the discretion to require the use of masks within their courtrooms, and the judge must post a “mask required” notice sign at the entrance doors to his/her courtroom.

2. Masks are recommended in any of the following circumstances if you are not vaccinated:

a. You are in a public setting around people who don’t live in your household, especially when indoors and when it may be difficult for you to stay six feet apart from people who don’t live with you.

b. You are around people who don’t live with you, regardless of whether you are inside your home or inside someone else’s home.

c. You are inside your home with someone who is sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.

d. You are engaged in outdoor activities and physical distancing of six feet or more from persons who are not members of your household is not feasible, regardless of crowd size.

B) Preventive Measures for Individuals:

Individuals should follow CDC guidance on preventive measures and personal practices that can be taken to prevent themselves and others from becoming infected by the COVID-19 virus:

1. Individuals must cooperate with the Department on contact tracing and case investigation.

2. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must report this information to the Department by calling 901-222-MASK (which is 901-222-6275) or by faxing the information to 901-222-8249. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must notify those who are known to have been in contact with them.

3. Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate in accordance with CDC Guidance, and individuals who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 must quarantine in accordance with CDC Guidance.

Isolate if You are Sick

When to Quarantine

An isolation and quarantine calculator can be found here

C) Preventive Measures for all Services and Businesses

The following preventive measures are required:

1. Cooperate with health authorities’ efforts to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.

2. Report to the Department any employee who has had contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 by calling 901-222-MASK (which is 901-222-6275) or by faxing the information to 901-222-8249. For employers needing after-hours assistance, please call 901-232-4036.

3. Comply with all federal and state business COVID-19 safety requirements, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements (OSHA and TOSHA) by provising employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. 

4. Place prominent signs at entrances and high-traffic areas notifying employees, customers, and visitors if masking is required or recommended.

5. Require all workers to stay home if they are sick pursuant to the following CDC guidance. Workers who meet CDC criteria or symptoms for COVID-19 should be directed to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing.

How to Protect Yourself and Others

What to Do if You are Sick

6. If an employer is informed that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the employer must close the areas where the employee worked for cleaning and disinfecting pursuant to CDC and OSHA guidance:

Toolkit for Worker Safety and Support

CDC Guidance on Workplaces and Businesses

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

The following preventive measures are recommended:

1. Place prominent signs at entrances and high-traffic areas that state that workers, customers, and visitors should not enter if they are sick or currently have signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

2. Ensure proper ventilation in all indoor areas of any business location:

Ventilation in Buildings

3. Continue promoting frequent and thorough handwashing by providing workers, customers, and visitors a place to wash their hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer at or near entrances to a facility and other high-traffic areas. It is strongly encouraged that CDC handwashing guides be placed in all bathrooms and near any handwashing sink.

Wash Your Hands! (sign)

4. Clean and sanitize all drinking fountains when in use and encourage customers, staff, or attendees of any event to bring their own water, as feasible, to minimize the use of water fountains.

5. Develop a plan on how to communicate with workers/customers/visitors if they are exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

6. Discourage workers from using other employee’s phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible. When this is not possible, sanitizers should be used both prior to use of communal items and immediately after, and care should be taken not to touch the face.

7. Increase regular housekeeping practices for all areas, including routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment, high-touch areas, work areas, break rooms, bathrooms, common areas, and any other areas of the work environment.

8. If feasible, implement contactless transactions.

9. Indicate where lines may form at a facility, marking 6-foot increments as guides for where individuals should stand to maintain social distancing.

10. Consider installing Plexiglass barriers at registers and other employee/customer points of contact.

11. Provide a hand sanitizing station (with adequate signage) at buffets for customers to use prior to and after serving themselves and require customers and employees to wear a mask while at a buffet. The sanitizing station must be properly distanced from any food in compliance with food permit restrictions on keeping chemicals away from food.

12. Regularly clean/disinfect restrooms, lounges, gyms, and shower facilities.

13. Encourage the use of outdoor space for the provision of services, where practical. Restaurants in particular are encouraged to provide an outdoor dining option.

14. Consider creating a plan to limit the communal use of items and products, such as eating or writing utensils and condiment containers.

Event planners for large-scale festivals, fairs, parades, sporting events, and community events may, but are not required to, seek the Department’s feedback for their event plan(s) if such technical assistance is desirable.

Shelby County Buildings that house individuals, including the Walter Bailey Criminal Justice Complex, the Shelby County Division of Corrections and Detention Facilities shall follow all safety precautions as stated in any executive order by Mayor Lee Harris.

Long Term Care Facilities and Assisted Living Centers:

Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities

The Department shall have unrestricted access to the facility where such access is determined necessary by the Department for purposes of investigating COVID-19 cases and testing all personnel for COVID-19, and in such circumstances, the operator and administrator shall cooperate fully to facilitate such testing. Any positive test result shall be reported to the Department of Health by 5:00 p.m. of the day following receipt of such test result. Consistent with CDC guidance, facilities must inform residents and their representatives within 12 hours of the occurrence of 1) a single confirmed infection of COVID-19 or 2) three or more residents or staff with new-onset of respiratory symptoms that occur within 72 hours. Updates to residents and their representatives must be provided weekly and after each subsequent time a confirmed infection of COVID-19 is identified or whenever three or more residents or staff with new onset of respiratory symptoms occurs within 72 hours. Updates should include information on mitigating actions implemented to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission including whether normal operations in the facility will be altered.

Lessors of Residential Properties

HUD and its PHA and private landlord partners have been taking steps to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 as each state reopens its economies. Keeping people in their homes and out of crowded or congregate settings — like homeless shelters — is a key step in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. The best option for all is for renters to pay (or be able to pay) their rent.

Tenants and landlords may submit applications for the COVID-19 Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance Program:

The displacement of COVID-19 positive citizens from their homes pursuant to a writ of possession, upon the filing of eviction proceedings, without notice of available assistance by the local health department is precluded by local health directive, its authority vested in state regulations regarding communicable diseases, including quarantine and isolation.

All inhabitants, present and/or readily available, of the dwelling which is the subject of eviction proceedings must be provided informational resources for rental assistance, food and housing instability, employment, and general health from the Shelby County Health Department and Shelby County Division of Community Services to further mitigate the secondary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Property owners, landlords, or their hired agents must distribute the following notice concurrently with the service of process of a Forcible Entry and Detainer Action (or Summons and Complaint) to any individual against whom an FED or other eviction action is filed. The notice must be provided in English and in Spanish:

Emergency Utility, Rental/Mortgage, Medical/Prescriptions, and Family Support Assistance is available.

• If you or anyone in your household are currently quarantined or are in isolation due to COVID-19 and are unable to secure housing at this time, please notify the Shelby County Health Department by calling 901-222-MASK (which is 901-222-6275) or by faxing the information to 901-222-8249. Temporary housing support may be available.

• If you are behind on your rent or utilities, you may be eligible for relief for up to 12 months of your payments, made directly to your landlord or MLGW.

• Eligibility is determined by income, and residents must also be able to demonstrate that they had an income loss due to COVID-19.

• Legal assistance may be available for eviction/FED cases in court.

• To apply, visit or or text “home901” or “casa” to 21000.


COVID-19 Asystencia Urgente para pagar su renta o servicios públicos (Emergency Rent Assistance).

• Si usted o una persona en su hogar está en cuarentena o aislado debido a COVID-19 y no sea posible obtener una vivienda en este momento, por favor notifica al Departamento de Salud de Shelby County por llamada a 901-222-MASK (901-222-6275) o por fax a 901-222-8249. Asistencia temporal de vivienda puede ser disponible.

• Si debe en alquiler o servicios públicos, puede ser elegible para asistencia de emergencia hasta 12 meses de pagos, pagado directamente a su dueño o MLGW.

• Elegibilidad esta basada en sus ingresos, y es necesario demonstrar que haya perdidio ingresos debido a COVID-19.

• Asistencia legal puede ser disponible por desalojos/FED en la corte

• Para aplicar, visita a o o mandar por text “casa901” a 21000.

For purposes of ensuring the public health safety of all residents and visitors in Shelby County, executions of any writs of possession cannot occur unless:

1) This notice has been provided to the tenant(s) or resident(s) of the subject premises either with the service of process of the eviction notice or at least two weeks before execution of a writ of possession, whichever is shorter. An example of proof of notice that can be used can be found here:; and

2) Proof of this notice is provided to the Department via email to or fax to 901-222-8249.

In those cases when the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) provides service of notices of writs of execution or assists in executing such writs, SCSO has previously implemented a process for providing this notice before executing all writs of possession. Private process servers should also implement a procedure for providing the notice. Courts and clerks who assist in FED action may also provide information about the notice requirement to private process servers. The failure to provide this notice may result in temporarily halting a private process server’s authority to participate in executions of writs of possession for impeding the Health Department’s obligation to protect public health. 

Please contact the Department if you require technical assistance regarding any preventive measures.

Requirement to Collect Demographic Data

Any health care provider located in Shelby County, Tennessee that provides COVID-19 testing or clinical care shall provide to the Department, as requested by the Department, demographic data regarding individuals tested or cared for by the provider. Such data shall be in such forms, formats and/or schedules that the Department will reasonably specify to the provider by written guidelines, including by way of example and without limitation the following data: gender, race, ethnicity, date of birth or other indicia of age, and such other demographic-based clinical information that the Department deems relevant and necessary to respond to and serve the needs of Shelby County related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Your Right of Review

If you feel this Directive has been issued in error, you may request a review by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Tim Jones, for the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), or his designee, at (615) 741-3111. Dr. Jones, or a designee, will review your request within five (5) business days of its receipt, and you will receive a decision in writing. You may also request that the TDH obtain a court order containing the provisions of this Directive. If you request this option, the TDH will take the matter to an available and appropriate court of record. Please be aware you are still required to abide by all of the provisions contained in this Health Directive during any review process. A copy of the rules setting forth the Health Directive procedure and related rights is available on the Shelby County Health Department website.  


Pursuant to the emergency management authority vested in Shelby County, Tennessee, for coordination of relief efforts in the event of a countywide emergency that may result in substantial injury or harm to the population, and the necessity to respond to public health emergencies vested in the Shelby County Public Health Department (“the Department”), this Health Order and Directive (“Directive”) is being issued to protect the public health for all citizens and businesses in Shelby County, Tennessee. 

1) Health Directive:,

2) For FAQs and contact tracing information, click here.

Approved and adopted by:







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