City Council Votes to Require Masks in Public

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With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise here, the Memphis City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday, June 16th, requiring masks be worn in public spaces within the city.


The council voted 9-4 in favor of the ordinance, with council members Ford Canale, Frank Colvett Jr., Chase Carlise, and Worth Morgan voting no.


The ordinance applies to public spaces including all essential and non-essential businesses, government buildings, public and private elevators, healthcare facilities, public transit, and ride sharing vehicles.


According to the ordinance, masks don’t have to be worn when one is in a private office or car, when eating or drinking at a restaurant, and during outdoor recreation.


Children under 12 and adults who have been advised not to wear a face covering for medical reasons are exempt.


Violations of the ordinance would result in a warning on the first offense and community service on the second offense.


Police Reform


In other business, the council passed three resolutions related to police reform and accountability Tuesday.


A resolution asking the city to adopt the “8 Can’t Wait” police policies, as well as one requesting that the Memphis Police Department (MPD) report all complaints of excessive force and misuse of body cameras on the city’s data portal passed unanimously.


The council also voted 12-0, with Morgan abstaining, to request Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland to appoint a task force to search for and select the next MPD chief.


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