COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (3/21)

Effective midnight on March 19, 2020, I declared a state of civil emergency requiring all restaurants to perform only take-out or delivery services and bars, gyms and other workout facilities to close. In addition to that order, effective midnight March 21, 2020, I am now requiring:

a. Theaters, cinemas, movie theatres, and indoor and outdoor performance venues, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities; and

b. Bowling alley, arcades, indoor climbing facility, indoor skating rink, trampoline park, and other similar recreational or entertainment facilities; and

c. Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on-premises consumption.

In addition, on-site consumption of food or beverage within private fraternal, social, golf or country clubs or similar private clubs are prohibited as of tonight at midnight.

To see the executive order, click here.

In other news, this morning the Memphis Alcohol Commission unanimously voted to allow restaurants to sell beer effective immediately for delivery and takeout orders. 

During this time, we are still strongly encouraging you to continue to-go orders and support our local restaurants and their staffs. We’re providing on-street parking relief exclusively for food delivery vehicles at various restaurant locations Downtown and Midtown where parking meters are installed. For Downtown restaurant pick-up, take-out and delivery, go here

To enhance and expand the work we’ve been doing over the last eight days, we created the joint Memphis/Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force. The task force is led by Mayor Lee Harris and myself and includes representation from all divisions of both Shelby County Government and City of Memphis, as well as, other public service agencies and members of the nonprofit community.

If you want help those affected by making a contribution, you can contribute to the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund at the Community Foundation. The fund will provide flexible funding to organizations working with community members who have been impacted by novel Coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak in West Tennessee, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi. 

To learn more and donate online, visit

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: March 21, 2020

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County: 42*
Tennessee: 228

Shelby County Residents Approved for Testing by State Lab: 46

Persons Under Public Health Monitoring in Shelby County: 60

All numbers updated as of 10:00 a.m. 3/21/20

*Includes one out-of-state resident who tested positive in Shelby County. Listed on the Tennessee Department of Health site as “Resident of Other State/Country.”

Shelby County currently has 42 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The increase in case numbers is not unexpected because testing has increased, especially by commercial laboratories. 

Please note: Laboratory reports of positive cases are reported to local health departments as soon as results are available. State numbers are updated at 2 p.m. CDT daily; but there is a lag in reporting of cumulative numbers at the state level, and that accounts for any discrepancy.

There are now indications that person-to-person spread in the community may be taking place. The Health Department recommends strict adherence to social-distancing recommendations:

Messages for Individuals:
• Avoid handshakes and close contact with others whenever possible. 
• Cancel or postpone gatherings of 10 or more people. Instead of visiting friends or relatives, call or video chat. 
• Stay at home whenever possible. While Shelby County School students and many others are out of school, keep children home and plan home-based activities.
• Children and adults may exercise outdoors, while maintaining at least six feet of distance from others.
• Do not go to work or go out in public if you are sick, especially with fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms. 
• Re-evaluate travel plans. It is strongly recommended to avoid any unnecessary travel.  If traveling overseas, check the CDC’s travel advisory website, which is updated daily:  If traveling within the U.S., avoid destinations where COVID-19 has been reported. 
• Avoid non-essential flights. Traveling by private vehicle limits exposure to other people.
• Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Scrub dirt under fingernails with a brush and soap. 
• Practice respiratory etiquette by using a tissue if coughing or sneezing, then throwing the tissue away and washing your hands.
• Sanitize surfaces that are frequently touched by many people with anti-bacterial wipes or diluted bleach solution. 

Messages for Community/Business Leaders:

• Cancel or postpone meetings and conferences of 10 or more people. 
• Consider conducting all conferences or meetings by phone or video chat rather than face-to-face.
• Adhere to CDC travel guidelines by reviewing the CDC’s travel website ( and avoiding destinations with travel health notices.
• Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, whenever possible.
• Encourage and enable employee telecommuting to limit person-to-person interactions as much as possible.
• Businesses that serve the public, including restaurants and retail stores should encourage social distancing by putting space between tables and spacing out check-out lines as much as possible.
• Consider providing delivery or curbside pick-up options to limit interactions in stores and restaurants. 

The Health Department is committed to providing as much information as possible to the public as the COVID-19 situation continues to develop. The Health Department’s hotline number (833-943-1658), was activated March 12, 2020. Since that date, it has fielded hundreds of calls from the general public about COVID-19. Below are statistics about calls into the hotline since March 12, 2020, and a daily number of hotline calls fielded yesterday.

The COVID-19 hotline is answered each day, including Saturday and Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 
After-hours calls are returned as soon as possible on the next business day.