Shelby County Health Department to Disclose Restaurant Related COVID19 Case Data

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These have been unprecedented times and we would like to thank the Shelby County Health Department for working hard to keep us safe. However, the restrictions have been debilitating for the restaurant industry.  Shelby County Health Department states that their guidelines are based on science and data.  The restaurant owners who are struggling to keep doors open, employees who have lost their jobs, and Shelby County taxpayers deserve to see that data.  Here is a link to the recent letter from the Memphis Restaurant Association to the Shelby County Health https://memphisrestaurants.com/category/covid-19/

Currently, restaurants have mask requirements, are operating at 50% capacity AND tables are spaced six feet apart.  The CDC states that exposure is less than six feet apart for more than fifteen minutes.   Due to limited contact with restaurant employees when dining out, diners are technically only exposed to the people that they are eating with (and most likely live/work with or have direct contact frequently outside of the restaurant).  

The media's push to control the narrative and instill fear have also been devastating the restaurant industry.  For example, the very misleading story regarding a "CDC study shows that those who contracted COVID19 were more than twice as likely to have dined out within the past two weeks."   The study did not clarify whether it was a coffee shop with food options or a restaurant, whether the diners ate outside on a patio or inside, or if it was a restaurant where you ordered at the counter or a full service restaurant.  This "study" was based on 154 people and findings were that 63 people (40%) had dined out within the past 14 days and were not sure where they contracted COVID19.  However, the study also showed that 131 people (or 85%) had been shopping.  Why did the media single out the restaurant industry and choose not to disclose that nearly everyone in the study had been shopping? While shopping in large retail stores, customers are exposed to countless individuals as there is no way to ensure people stay six feet apart, people wear their mask, or capacity is limited. Why have there not been any added restrictions in the retail industry? 

Restaurants cannot survive the winter under these unfair and uneven restrictions. The restaurant industry is willing to work with the Shelby County Health Department to create a plan of action, but are not able to if they do not know what the problem is.   Transparency builds trust.  We need your voice - please share sign the petition because ALL SHELBY COUNTY TAXPAYERS DESERVE TO SEE THE DATA.