MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Shelby County Health Department issued the area's first ever Code Purple air quality alert Wednesday, which is in effect until sunset.
The alert, which covers Shelby County, Crittenden County and Desoto County, indicates an extremely unhealthy air quality based on pollution emissions, stagnant atmosphere, clear skies and high temperatures. Code Purple is the most severe warning that has ever been issued in the Mid-South.
Active children and adults, as well as those with respiratory difficulties such as asthma and emphysema, should avoid or limit outdoor activities.
It's also recommended that cars and lawnmowers be refueled after 7 p.m., errands be combined, and to carpool or use public transportation to help reduce harmful emissions. MATA bus and trolley fares are discounted to 25 cents any time there is a Code Orange alert or higher.
A Code Red alerts has already been issued for Thursday, June 28.