Bars to be allowed to reopen tomorrow

By , Daily Memphian Updated: September 30, 2020 10:59 AM CT | Published: September 22, 2020 12:30 PM CT
<strong>Cooper-Young restaurant Alchemy is considered&nbsp;&ldquo;limited-service,&rdquo; meaning that&nbsp;50% or more of revenue comes from the alcohol sales</strong>. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian file)

Cooper-Young restaurant Alchemy is considered “limited-service,” meaning that 50% or more of revenue comes from the alcohol sales. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian file)

With exceptions, all businesses in Shelby County may open according to the newest Health Directive, which goes into effect at midnight.

“Full service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, bars, clubs, taprooms, hookah lounges, cigar lounges, we encourage you to adhere to statewide guidelines and following restrictions,” said health officer Dr. Bruce Randolph.

Limited-service restaurants have to adhere to all restrictions that full service restaurants do. The ability to social distance is not limited to capacity, said Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter.

Limited-service restaurants will not have to apply for a full service license, but may choose to do so.

Most bars remain closed after two months; a few have reopened with a new license

Rules include no standing room only at the physical bar, no tables can be placed in bar areas, alcohol may only be served with food to customers seated at tables.

Customers still may only be served food over two hours. Establishments must still close at 10 p.m., but curbside and drive-thru may continue afterward. Alcohol sales also must stop at 10 p.m.

Hookah, vaping and cigar bars, must be well ventilated, patrons must be seated 6-feet apart, two only at the booth and anyone sitting at booths must be from the same household.

Not allowed under the new Health Directive are adult entertainment businesses and venues for 18 and over that offer close contact interactions. Festivals, fairs, parades, large scale sports and community events are not allowed unless the health department okays a site-specific plan.

The new rules come about 10 days after slight upticks in the weekly average of cases.

While Dr. Stephen Threlkeld is sensitive to the issues of businesses, “it’s difficult not to be awfully careful right now though when we’ve seen increasing data and studies that show that the one thing that correlated with people getting this infection was being in a restaurant that serve drinks for example,” he said Monday.

Last Friday, the transmission rate was at 1.26, meaning that each infected person was passing COVID to that many people. On Sept. 15, the rate was .96.

Monday, the average number of cases per day was 183, up from 121 a week ago.

This story will be updated.


Shelby County Health Department limited-service restaurants
Jane Roberts

Jane Roberts

Longtime journalist Jane Roberts is a Minnesotan by birth and a Memphian by choice. She's lived and reported in the city more than two decades. She covers healthcare and higher education for The Daily Memphian.

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