The following are Shelby County Public Health Directives related to coronavirus disease (COVID-19):

Frequently Asked Questions:

Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions

Q: How should I conduct my wedding and/or wedding reception under the current Health Directive?

A: Governor Lee’s executive orders preempt local health department directives as to weddings and currently (as of May 22, 2020) provides the following:

Worship services, weddings, funerals, and events related thereto are not social gatherings … and nothing in this Order mandates closure of a place of worship, or prohibits weddings or funerals as a matter of law. Nevertheless, places of worship are strongly encouraged to continue to utilize virtual or online services and gatherings and strongly encouraged to follow the Guidance for Gathering Together in Houses of Worship issued by the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives regarding in-person services that can be conducted safely. Likewise, persons at weddings and funerals are strongly encouraged to follow the Health Guidelines and maintain appropriate social distancing as provided for herein to the greatest extent practicable, although it is further strongly encouraged that any large public celebration component of weddings and funerals be postponed or attended only by close family members.

Please reach out to the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for assistance on planning your wedding, and if needed, further questions can be directed to the Tennessee Department of Health. Wedding planners are encouraged to use their creativity to plan memorable and safe weddings and/or receptions and should follow applicable guidelines set forth in the current Health Directive, such as general business safety measures, safety measures for businesses that are permitted to be open, safety measures addressing food service (see restaurants and hotels), permitted numbers of people for gatherings, and so forth. Please note that the Directive does not affect the operations of any place of worship. 

Q: Must operators of public swimming pools (including, but not limited to, municipal, hotel/motel, and recreational/fitness centers) and multi-family swimming pools have aquatics staff present during all hours of operation, including operators of pools that may not generally be required to have aquatics staff on site, such as residential apartment or condominium community pools or pools operated by a homeowners or neighborhood association? Also, please clarify the occupancy and cleaning schedule requirements.

A. Yes, operators must have sufficient staff present to comply with the safety measures for swimming pools. Health Directive No. 4 states that recreational swimming is limited to 25% occupancy, and patrons should reserve times to swim/enter the pool in which they are limited to 45 minutes to swim. Patrons must then get out of the pool while cleaning and sanitizing is conducted by aquatics staff (generally for 15 minutes) so that handrails, door handles, pool ladders, benches, tables, chairs, and common fixtures are sanitized. Cleaning and filtering of pool water is not required during this routine cleaning. Any time patrons occupy communal spaces, whether during cleaning times or during recreational swim time, they must adhere to social distancing requirements. A dedicated aquatics staff member must ensure that the appropriate occupancy restriction is followed, social distancing is observed, and cleaning and sanitizing occurs. Therefore, a staff member must be on site at all times during operational hours, even for pools that do not generally require the presence of aquatics staff, such as residential community and hotel/motel pools. If the pool operator already employs a lifeguard, additional aquatics staff will be required to monitor compliance with occupancy and social distancing requirements so that the lifeguard is not distracted from her/his regular life-saving obligations. With regard to super chlorination, if super chlorination requires 24 hours, the pool should be closed two days out of the week to complete that process. Pool operators must ensure that chlorine level is within the acceptable PPM levels.

Q. Due to some confusion in the language of the Health Directive, please clarify whether a business must require all customers/visitors to wear face coverings while within its establishment. 

A. Businesses are asked to strongly encourage their customers/visitors to wear face coverings while within their establishments. A business is not precluded from requiring customers/visitors to wear face coverings when patronizing the establishment. 

Q. Are games and devices that involve communal/shared use of objects permitted in any business that is allowed to be open under Health Directive Number 3?

A. No, restaurants and other businesses that are permitted to be open under Health Directive Number 3 may not allow customers to use games and devices that involve communal/shared use of objects associated with the games or devices, such as pool tables, batting cages, mini-golf, cards, darts, checkers, or other board games. 

Q. Are licensed massage therapists permitted to be open under Health Directive Number 3 as health care businesses?

A. Yes, licensed massage therapists are health professionals in the same manner that other health professionals are licensed and regulated by state professional boards, and therefore they are permitted to be open under Health Directive 3 as health care businesses. 

Q. Are adult daycare facilities (such as an Alzheimer's daycare facility) permitted to be open under the daycare provision of Health Directive Number 3? 

A. Adult daycare centers fall under the clauses recited, in part, below, and may be open as long as they comply with the specific parameters that apply under the clauses and any safety measures that apply for all services and businesses:

"Businesses that provide social services and other necessities of life for seniors, adults, children, or people with disabilities, substance use disorders, or mental illness. This includes residential facilities and shelters."

"Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and any other such facilities housing, treating, or caring for senior citizens..."

Other Resources for Businesses

For answers to specific questions, call the Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center at 833-943-1658 (available to take calls 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Sunday).

After hours leave a message and we will return your call the next business day. 

Tennessee COVID-19 Public Information Number 877-857-2945 Available 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. CST Daily