Thursday update – mask mandate in Shelby County begins at 7 AM tomorrow

It’s official. Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Michelle Taylor, County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph, and County Mayor Lee Harris have issued an amended health directive. Masks will be required when in public indoor spaces in Shelby County for those 2 and over, beginning 7 AM Friday, August 20.

Spaces in which masks are required include restaurants and bars; as before, masks can be removed once patrons are seated. Masks can also be removed in gyms for activities that require physical exertion, such as cardio machines. They can also be removed for business activities for which it wouldn’t make any sense to have them on, such as getting a facial.

The good news is that the health department has not decided to bring back a requirement of 6 feet of social distancing, which was rumored at one point Wednesday afternoon. Bringing that requirement back could have been a death sentence for many Memphis restaurants, now back at full capacity and struggling to make back the massive amounts of money they lost in 2020.

Nor will the directive require cancellation or limited attendance for mass events, which would have been disastrous for events like the upcoming World Championship Hot Wing Fest at Tiger Lane on August 28. That too was rumored at one point Wednesday afternoon.

The mask requirement will remain in place until COVID case and hospitalization numbers drop substantially, or until 70% of Shelby County residents are vaccinated. According to COVID Act Now, the county currently stands at 47.9%.

I absolutely hate this cliche but will use it for the mask mandate… it is what it is. Let’s mask up, realize it could be a lot worse, and get the hospitalization numbers down and the vaccination numbers up so we can take these stupid things off ASAP.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has announced the food trucks that will be at Court Square for Food Truck Thursday today 11 AM to 2 PM:

This week’s trucks are:
and MORE!!

Also, there will be live music by John Best.

There are some new rules for Wednesday night Bike Nights on Beale. Apparently things got a little too rowdy and the August 4 and 11 Bike Nights had to be canceled:

– All motorcyclists & passengers must wear a helmet while riding.
-Motorcycles on Beale Street are to be driven at a slow speed while also being mindful of pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way.
– Any amplification of music from the motorcycle must be kept at a low volume.
– Performing burnouts, donuts or any similar activity is strictly prohibited.

Grace Animal Hospital on South Main seeks an Associate Veterinarian. Two positions are open.

Wahlburgers will open soon in Bass Pro at the Pyramid. The Memphis location of the chain founded by Donnie and Marky Mark and their brother Executive Chef Paul Wahlberg was originally set for Beale Street but there were construction problems. Glad to see they found a home in Bass Pro.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog recently paid a visit to the Blues Hall of Fame on South Main.

It’s National Hot and Spicy Food Day. Here are a few recommendations:

  • The Holy Smoke Tenders at Kooky Canuck
  • The Spicy Mane wood-fired pizza at Silly Goose (Arribbiatta sauce, soppressata, pepperoni, Calabrian chili, oregano, spicy honey)
  • The Texas Toast Burger at Huey’s (pepper jack cheese, onions, and jalapenos on Texas toast)
  • Fried Jalapeno Chips at Flying Fish
  • Your favorite item at Maciel’s Tortas and Tacos with extra red sauce on the side
  • Your favorite entree from The Nine Thai and Sushi; ask them if they can make it a bit spicy

The Consortium MMT presents two DJs tonight at the Moxy Hotel, 40 N. Front: DJ Mike at 6 and Brandon Kinder at 8.

The Redbirds host the Nashville Sounds tonight at 7:10 at AutoZone Park. They’ll have on their throwback Memphis Chicks uniforms, and they’ll have throwback prices of $2 for domestic drafts and $1 for hot dogs.

A lot of new drag shows have popped up since COVID restrictions were lifted in May… I wonder how the mask mandate will affect them? A big part of the shows is the outrageous expressions the queens have on their faces as they perform.

That’s it for now. Go enjoy your last day without a mask requirement for a while.