FAQ

Do I need to consult the Health Directive in addition to the Back to Business Framework?

Yes. The Health Directive issued by the Shelby County Health Department is a legal document  that all individuals and businesses in Shelby County must follow.  The Health Directive sets forth the current set of requirements and protocols.  You may review the Health Directive here: https://insight.livestories.com/s/v2/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions-directives-shelby-county-tn/a44aaf6f-f91d-4541-8ad9-0f99a7c60d7f.  The Back to Business Framework outlines a general plan for getting the City back to business, which is subject to change based on the status of the pandemic.   In the event of any inconsistency between the Back to Business Plan and any provision of the Health Directive, the terms and provisions of the Health Directive control.

How do I submit a proposal for re-opening my business?

If you would like to submit a proposal to reopen or expand your business operations in a manner that is not already addressed in the current Health Directive, you must contact the Shelby County Health Department.  Please take the following steps for submission of any proposal to the Shelby County Health Department:

1) Prepare a plan with proposed safety measures.

2) Make sure that your plan’s provisions do not conflict with the safety measures already included in the Health Directive.

3) Review and incorporate industry specific safety guidance that is provided for by local, state, or federal agencies, such as, for example, guidance from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

4) Provide a cover letter with the following information: a contact person and their phone number, the general availability of the contact (in the event the Health Department would like to conduct a site visit), and the proposed date for implementing your plan.

5) Send your documents by email to covid@shelbycountytn.gov.

Does the Back to Business Plan replace the Safer at Home Order?

No.  The Back to Business Plan does not replace the Safer at Home Executive Order.  The Back to Business Plan is a data-driven framework for a phased approach to re-opening businesses.  Businesses will re-open in three phases.  There are specific conditions that must be met before the start of each phase.  Once the required conditions are met, an Executive Order will be issued for re-openings under Phase One of the Back to Business Plan.  Presently, the current version Safer at Home Order is still in effect, and as such, residents and businesses should continue to adhere to the Order’s directives, social distancing requirements, masking protocols and hygiene best practices.

When will Phase One, Two or Three of the Back to Business Plan begin?

The decision to open any business in a particular phase will be informed by data and advice of our team of medical experts.  Once the required conditions are met, an Executive Order will be issued outlining the business re-openings allowed under the specified phase. Phase One began May 4. Phase Two began May 18.

What is the criteria for the phases to begin?

The phased re-opening is premised on the following indicators and conditions:

  1. Flat or negative growth rate in new cases during the most recent 14-day period
  2. Availability of testing resources, capacity, and rapid data sharing of results
  3. Capacity of the public health system to conduct surveillance, contact investigations, monitoring, outbreak management, and enforcement
  4. Capacity of healthcare systems to treat all patients without crisis care conditions

In addition, the following contextual indicators will be monitored to provide further information for decision-making:

  • Trend in COVID-19 deaths
  • Hospitalizations of COVID-19 positive patients
  • Percentage of ventilators utilized in healthcare system
  • Percentage of hospital beds utilized in healthcare system
  • COVID-19 Compliant Protocol compliance by entities
  • Social distancing compliance by members of the public
  • Adequate supplies of PPE

However, reversal of advancements between phases may be required if the data and metrics show a decline in the conditions necessary for maintaining public health and safety.

What industries are part of each phase? 

How do I report a business that is operating before they are allowed under the Back to Business Plan?

Please call 311 or email covid19@memphistn.gov to report a business you believe is not complying with the Back to Business Plan.

Can I be fined if I reopen during the wrong phase?

Businesses that re-open in violation of the Safer at Home Order and Back to Business Plan will be subject to closure as well as any applicable fines and fees.

Are dental and medical procedures included in the Back to Business Framework?

No. The Mayor’s Executive Order 13-2020 and the Shelby County Health Department’s Health Directive No. 3 provide that medical and dental procedures will be subject to regulations and restrictions pursuant to Executive Orders issued by the Governor of the State of Tennessee. Medical and dental professionals should continue to follow the Governor’s Executive Orders regarding restrictions and regulations related to medical and dental procedures. The Governor’s Executive Orders may be found here: https://sos.tn.gov/products/division-publications/executive-orders-governor-bill-lee.

Are employees of a business required to wear masks? Are gloves required?

All employees of any business that interact with the public or a co-worker and employees that serve or prepare food are required to wear a mask.  Gloves are not required pursuant to general safety protocols issued by the Shelby County Health Department.  However, gloves may be required in industry-specific protocols such as protocols for personal appearance businesses.  

What is the status of recreational facilities in Phase 2?

All recreational facilities are allowed to operate in Phase 2.  Such recreational facilities include bowling alleys, arcades, indoor climbing, children’s indoor play areas, miniature golf, trampoline parks, skating rinks, and other similar recreational facilities.  However, the maximum occupancy of a recreational facility shall be limited to 50% during Phase 2.  Recreational facilities must also adhere to the industry-specific protocol as well as the general safety protocols for all businesses issued by the Shelby County Health Department.

What is the status of event venues in Phase 2?

Event venues are not open in Phase 2.  There is no special allowance for event venues to host weddings in Phase 2 pursuant to the Health Directive issued by the Shelby County Health Department.  Only facilities allowed to operate in Phase 2 may host weddings during Phase 2. 

What is the status of personal appearance businesses in Phase 2?

All personal appearance businesses are allowed to operate in Phase 2.  Such personal appearance businesses include hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas, waxing salons, threading salons, tanning salons, tattoo salons, and massage-therapy establishments.  Personal appearance businesses must adhere to the industry-specific protocol as well as the general safety protocols for all businesses issued by the Shelby County Health Department.

What is the status of carwashes in Phase 2?

Carwashes are allowed to operate subject to the industry-specific protocol as well as the general safety protocols for all businesses issued by the Shelby County Health Department.

Are pools open during Phase 2?

Yes, pools are open for fitness-focused swimming and reduced recreational swimming.  For recreational swimming, the number of individuals in the pool should be limited to 25% capacity of the area where recreational swimming is occurring.  Pools must also operate in accordance with the protocols set forth in the Health Directive issued by the Shelby County Health Department.

Are funerals subject to restrictions in the Back to Business Plan?

Funerals are not limited to the social gathering restriction of 50 people or less and cannot be prohibited pursuant to Executive Orders issued by the Governor of the State of Tennessee.  However, it is strongly encouraged that the Guidelines issued by the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives be followed regarding any in-person funeral services.


If you have a question that is not posted or any questions regarding the Back to Business Plan, please contact us.