Memphis has been in Phase 2 of the “Back to Business” plan, but some potential roadblocks are popping up as the summer begins.As the Memphis City Council was scheduled today to vote if masks should be required or not when inside a business, the Shelby County Health Department has stopped giving away knitted masks because, ironically, they aren’t safe. The masks that they were handing out to the public were being treated with a chemical called Silvadur. This chemical is for preventing the growth of odor-causing bacteria and is typically used in clothing items. However, it is unsure if this chemical causes harm as part of a facial covering.
Allan Creasy – a state representative candidate – described the recalled free masks given to Shelby County by the state “porous”, applauded @ShelbyTNHealth for suspending their distribution and that they “made people less safe, not more safe.”
— Brad Broders (@Local24Brad) June 2, 2020
In addition, with the uptick in cases in Shelby County, it’s appearing as if Memphis won’t be heading into Phase 3 soon. Mayor Jim Strickland has extended Phase 2 for two more weeks.
Breaking: @MayorMemphis extends phase two of Back to Business Plan through June 16th. The earliest phase three COULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED was Monday June 8.— Brad Broders (@Local24Brad) June 2, 2020
Along with the shifting goalposts of reopening the city, the Memphis City Council’s mask ordinance vote got postponed as well. The reasoning has been cited to be due to the increase in cases and wanting to wait until the next meeting in two weeks. 190 new cases of coronavirus were reported Tuesday.According to News Channel 3, Shelby County health officials warned that if cases continue to increase, they’ll have no choice but to require masks in public.
During all of this, questions of allowing giant groups of protesters and rioters have been almost nonexistent. Time will tell if these rallies had a negative effect on the coronavirus numbers.