COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (5-19)

As I said I would two weeks ago, today I made a presentation to City Council laying out my vision for how we should spend the federal dollars we received from the recently passed CARES Act. 

Most notably, we allocated $12 million towards enhanced testing and another $8.7 million for the Shelby County Health Department to greatly expand its capacity to conduct contact tracing. These two areas are crucial to our success as we continue to reopen our economy. We must have tests to administer, and equally as important, we must have people to track down those who may have come in contact with COVID-19 if we’re going to box in the virus. If you or someone you know would like to apply to be a contact tracer, you can do so here.

In addition to funding the public health efforts, I proposed offering hazard pay to our frontline workers. We’ve assigned employees into two groups—Tier I and Tier II. Tier I employees are directly responding or mitigating Covid-19, citizen-facing, and/or have potential for direct exposure or threat of Covid-19. Tier II employees are not citizen-facing, but are directly assisting with Covid-19. As it stands, 5,388 employees will receive this benefit. Currently only 685 employees are receiving hazard pay. This will add 4,791 new employees with an average of a 3.70% increase in pay for March 1, 2020 – Dec 30, 2020.

Lastly, we proposed allocating funds for community investments.  Two weeks ago, $10 million was set aside for the Council Relief Fund for small business assistance, and today we proposed grants to nonprofits that had previously been cut from the City’s operating budget due to declining revenue.

This plan is subject to the city council’s input and approval, but there is no doubt that these federal funds have helped City government’s budget.  And, there still may be more federal relief coming in the future.

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

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County Cases3877
Total Tested in Shelby County54,842
Tennessee Total Cases18,378
*As of 2:00 p.m. 5/19/20
Other Jurisdictions:
Tipton County, TN405
Desoto County, MS391
Crittenden County, AR237
Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 5/19/2020

Total COVID-19 Cases Recovered in Shelby County as of 05/18/2020

The Shelby County Health Department is investigating clusters of infection in a number of facilities that serve vulnerable populations.

The testing positivity rate is the percentage of all tests conducted that are found to be positive. The chart below shows Shelby County’s testing positivity rates over time, as of May 18, 2020.

Shelby County Health Department has added a data page to its COVID-19 webpage:  It includes information about the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases in Shelby County.

All of Shelby County, including the municipalities and the unincorporated areas are under Safer at Home orders. Some non-essential businesses may reopen under the guidance of Shelby County Health Directive #4, issued on May 18, 2020, which can be viewed here:

For more information about the Safer at Home order or to register concerns, the public may contact:

· The Shelby County Mayor’s Action Line: 901-222-2300

· The Shelby County Health Department’s COVID-19 Hotline: 833-943-1658

· Email