Click below to read the executive order:
The recent action by Governor Lee ending his declaration of a state-wide public health emergency, as well as the decision of the Shelby County Health Department to lift its own mask mandate, indicate that masking is no longer legally mandated. The City does not have stand-alone authority to mandate masks as a response to Covid-19. Beginning May 15, 2021, the City of Memphis will no longer enforce our mask ordinance.
City government will continue to follow CDC guidelines, which currently recommends that people indoors continue to wear a mask unless they are in their own homes around family who have been vaccinated. People entering City of Memphis facilities, with exception of our parks and other outdoor spaces, will still be required to wear a mask.
Private businesses and churches may continue to require their patrons and employees to wear masks. We strongly encourage everyone to continue masking up when in public, at least until we reach our goal of vaccinating 70% of the Shelby County population.
The Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance Program, a new program aimed at helping renters in Shelby County, will help thousands of households that are behind on rent and utilities or facing eviction as a result of Covid-19. The U.S. Department of Treasury has granted a total of $28.2 million to the City of Memphis and Shelby County (including $19.6 million to the City and $8.6 to the County) to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program.
The program can pay up to 12 months of owed rent and utilities to those affected by Covid-19. Those facing eviction can also receive free legal assistance. The program is open to Shelby County renters and is being administered by the City of Memphis and Shelby County Government.
“The economic fallout from COVID has undermined housing security for many families,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris. “That’s why we partnered with the City of Memphis to create this emergency relief program to distribute more than $28 million in assistance to Shelby County residents.”
“There are many in our community who are hurting,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “The City of Memphis will, as we always have done, continue to work with County, State, and Federal officials, along with our community partners to address this critical issue.”
Applying is easy and the application is available on the web and can be accessed by smart phone in English or Spanish. In-person help to complete the application is available by appointment at various sites throughout the county. To make an appointment or to ask questions, please call 211.
Partners in this effort include the Shelby County Division of Community Services, City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development, Neighborhood Preservation, Inc., the University of Memphis Law School Legal Clinic, Memphis Area Legal Services, Metropolitan Interfaith Association (MIFA), United Housing, Inc., United Way of the Mid-South, Innovate Memphis, and United States Digital Response (USDR).