Categories
Road Closures

Riverside Drive Closed

Beginning on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, Riverside Drive between W. Georgia Ave. and Union Ave. will be totally closed to through traffic to enforce the COVID-19, “Safer at Home” directive.  This section of Riverside Dr. will remain closed for an indefinite period of time.

Motorists who normally use Riverside Drive between W. Georgia Ave. and Union Ave. are advised to use an alternate route during the duration of the closure.

The signed detour route will make use of Crump Boulevard, Second Street, B.B. King Blvd. and Jefferson Avenue.

Prepared by the Division of Engineering.

Categories
Announcements

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (3/30)

Over the last several days especially as we’ve had nicer weather, more and more people have been getting outside, which that alone is not a bad thing. In fact, doctors even recommend it. That said, it does become a huge problem when people disregard the importance of social distancing.

In last Friday’s update, I announced that we were closing all City baseball, softball and soccer fields, and basketball courts. Additionally, we closed dog parks and skateboard parks.

Unfortunately, some people are not taking this seriously, and for the health of our city—they must start to do so.

What happened this past weekend at a couple parks in our city was reckless, irresponsible and selfish. Because of this, effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 31st, we are limiting park access at all city-owned parks.

The first restriction will be to cars. Riverside Drive will be closed, and I will be closing as many roads in and around parks that the fire marshal will let me. Second, even though our Safer at Home Order sets this out, I will repeat—no groups of people will be allowed to congregate in our parks.

Medical experts recommend outdoor activities, but only with people in your household and staying at least six feet away from everyone else.

To help us monitor compliance, we will have City of Memphis employees at parks throughout the city. These new restrictions are designed to allow people to walk or run through their neighborhood park but to prohibit people from congregating in large groups.

I’ve said this before, and I’m saying it again—things will get worse before they get better. But, they will get better.

As mayor, I can only do so much. Government can only do so much to dictate the actions of citizens. Everyone must take personal responsibility, take social distancing and hygiene seriously, and stay home.

This is serious. You need to take it seriously because if you don’t—more people are going to die needlessly.

By staying safe at home, you will save lives.

We must all come together to stay apart and stop the spread of the virus.

Below is a graph that demonstrates the seriousness of this issue.

To stay up-to-date on everything the City and Joint Task Force is doing visit covid19.memphistn.gov

For concerns about the virus, call the Shelby County Health Department hotline at 833-943-1658.

To report violations of the Safer at Home Executive Order, please call 311.

What can you do to help?

If you want help those affected by making a contribution, you can donate 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 cfgm.org/COVID

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: March 30, 2020

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County Cases 379
Deaths 1
Total Tested in Shelby County 4382
Tennessee Total Cases 1537*
*As of 2:00 p.m. 3/29/20
Other Jurisdictions:
Tipton County, TN 15
Desoto County, MS 71
Crittenden County, AR 17
Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 3/30/2020

Shelby County currently has 379 confirmed COVID-19 cases. That includes one (1) death.

To date, a total of 4,382 persons have been tested for the COVID-19 virus in Shelby County.  Here is a breakdown of current cases by age range:

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).

Categories
Announcements

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (3/29)

As I’ve been saying for several days now, once more widespread testing becomes available— we will see more positive cases of the virus. That’s what today’s new number of cases shows. We were at 275 cases yesterday, and today’s number has risen to 362. To date 3,715 people have been tested with 3, 352 coming back negative. We are going to see more positive cases, and I just want you to be prepared for that in the days ahead.

Earlier today, our Joint COVID-19 Task Force issued guidance on facial covering and whether or not you should wear a mask in public. Read below for more.

Since enacting the Safer at Home Executive Order, we’ve received several questions asking where to report someone who’s not following it.

All you need to do is call 311.

The Order is legally enforceable, and we will take every measure available to enforce it. This includes possibly issuing misdemeanor citations, revoking beer permits, and closures of businesses under nuisance abatement ordinances. The Directive issued by the Shelby County Health Department is also legally enforceable, and applies to all residents of Shelby County.

What can you do to help?

If you want help those affected by making a contribution, you can donate 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 cfgm.org/COVID

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: March 29, 2020

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County Cases 362
Deaths 1
Total Tested in Shelby County 3715
Tennessee Total Cases 1373*
*As of 2:00 p.m. 3/28/20
Other Jurisdictions:
Tipton County, TN 11
Desoto County, MS 65
Crittenden County, AR 15
Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 3/29/2020

Shelby County currently has 362 confirmed COVID-19 cases. That includes one (1) death.

To date, a total of 3,715 persons have been tested for the COVID-19 virus in Shelby County.  Here is a breakdown of current cases by age range:

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).

Categories
Announcements

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (3/28)

As you may have seen yesterday, Governor Lee was in town which was good for a couple reasons. One—he was able to see first-hand how we’re handling the situation here locally, and two, my top staff and I were able to sit face-to-face with him and his team leading the fight at the state level to talk about our needs, our concerns, and our way forward.

Overall, it was a productive meeting, and I appreciate the Governor and his team making the time to make it happen.

If someone asked you the question a month ago, “Are you practicing social distancing?” most of us would have had no idea what they were talking about. Now, it’s in everyone’s vocabulary and constantly on the brain.

Below is a pretty good graph that demonstrates clearly why it is so important to slowing the spread of the virus. As you look at it, keep in mind that outdoor activities are great and even doctor recommended—as long as you’re maintaining social distancing.

As many of you saw earlier today, we have had our first confirmed death in Shelby County from the virus.  My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones. This serves as a constant reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic must be taken seriously, and we must be vigilant in our efforts to stop the spread.

What can you do to help?

If you want help those affected by making a contribution, you can donate 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 cfgm.org/COVID

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: March 28, 2020

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County Cases 275
Deaths 1
Total Tested in Shelby County 2773
Tennessee Total Cases 1203*
*As of 2:00 p.m. 3/27/20
Other Jurisdictions:
Tipton County, TN 10
Desoto County, MS 63
Crittenden County, AR 12
Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 3/28/2020

Shelby County currently has 275 confirmed COVID-19 cases. That includes one (1) death. The Shelby County Health Department does not release identifiable information about specific cases in order to protect privacy. A total of 2,773 Shelby County residents to date have been tested for the virus.

Here is a breakdown of current cases by age range:

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.

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).

Categories
Announcements

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (3/26)

Starting today, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making essential financial resources available to families that have been impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.

Families can apply now online, for up to two months of emergency cash assistance if they were employed as of March 11, 2020, and they’ve lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income as a result of the pandemic.

Click here for more information.

In addition to families in need, Governor Lee recently announced that Tennessee has received a declaration for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to a recently submitted request.

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per applicant to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have otherwise been met.

Click here to learn more about the program.

Over the last several days, many of you have asked questions either through social media, emails, or phone calls to my office:

What are we doing for our homeless population?

Rest assured—we are keeping them top of mind.

The City is actively coordinating with Shelby County, MIFA, Community Alliance for the Homeless, Hospitality Hub and other agencies throughout the City to monitor the capacity and needs shelter providers throughout the City. People who are experiencing homelessness should contact MIFA’s Homeless Hotline at 901-529-4545 in order to be connected to shelter alternatives. If there are individuals that are experiencing domestic violence, they can seek support through the Family Safety Center (901) 222-4400) or Shelby County Crime Victim & Rape Crisis Center (901-222-3950).

My employer isn’t requiring social distancing at work. What should I do?

OSHA is in the best place to report workplace hazards. Under the Safer at Home Order, “essential businesses” remaining open must operate in such a way to protect the health and safety of the community, employees, vendors, and the general public. This includes compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 (https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf) and other applicable state and federal workplace rules.

You may contact the local OSHA office at (901) 543-7259. In addition, you may contact Shelby County Health Department at (901) 222-9000 regarding health concerns in your workplace.

City Services

As we move through this pandemic, I want to prepare you that there may come a time when we must reduce your city services due to city employees becoming infected with the virus. As it stands right now, 11 of our more than 8,000 City of Memphis employees have tested positive for COVID-19; however, we know that number is only going to rise and more employees will be quarantined because they will come in contact with someone with the virus.

The precautionary measures the we have put in place within City government have limited potential spread of COVID-19, and we are closely monitoring employees for any symptoms. We are providing additional PPE, restricting personal interaction, conducting additional screening of all 911 calls, and numerous other measures. We will continue to make the health and safety of our residents and our employees our number one priority.


What can you do to help?


If you want help those affected by making a contribution, you can donate 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 cfgm.org/COVID


Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: March 26, 2020

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County Cases: 198
Tennessee Total Cases: 957*
*As of 2:00 p.m. 3/26/20
Other Jurisdictions:
Tipton County, TN: 6
Desoto County, MS: 36
Crittenden County, AR: 7
Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 3/26/2020

Shelby County currently has 198 confirmed COVID-19 cases. All out-of-county residents have been transferred to their local health department jurisdictions. Going forward, Shelby County Health Department will only track resident cases.
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).

Categories
Announcements

Message from the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA)

The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) helpline remains open to help families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia illnesses during this time as we are faced with the Coronavirus pandemic.

The AFA toll-free helpline (866-232-8484) is open seven days a week and staffed entirely by licensed social workers who are trained in dementia care.

We are able assist callers with topics/questions about combating isolation, keeping engaged, washing tips, caregiver stress, whether family members should visit during this time, items to have in the home, etc.

Families can connect with the AFA Helpline in any of the following ways:

  • Via phone by calling 866-232-8484
  • Web chat by visiting www.alzfdn.org and clicking on the blue and white chat icon on the lower right hand corner of the page
  • Sending a text message to 646-586-5283

The web and text chat features are available in more than 90 languages.

Categories
Announcements City Council

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (3/25)

Latest information:

In response to our current State of Emergency and to help deal with the financial impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council yesterday approved the amendment of our 2020 operating budget in the amount of $2 million. This funding will go to help cover the cost of free or reduced fares on public transit and to the Mid-South Food Bank to assist low-income and food-insecure people throughout our region.

As you may have seen yesterday, the City Council also unanimously approved temporary free fares for all customers who ride any mode of public transportation operated by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA). The free fares will begin on Wednesday, March 25 and continue until Thursday, April 30. At this time, MATA is continuing to operate its normal service. For more information, click here.

To do our part to comply with the Safer at Home Executive Order, over 80 percent of City Hall employees are not working in the building. Having said that—if you need to conduct business with the City like paying your taxes, fines, etc., please do so through the mail or one of our on-line portals rather than in person. The link to pay your taxes online can be found on our memphistn.gov site.

If you don’t have access to a computer or a smart phone to pay your City of Memphis bills, please don’t come to City Hall, call (901) 522-1111 so that we can make the necessary arrangements so you don’t get charged late fees or fines.

A couple quick points on my Safer at Home Executive order:

  • There is no curfew.
  • If you are an employee on the essential services list, you do not need a note from your employer or special badge to go to work.
  • The Order is legally enforceable, and we will take every measure available to enforce it.   This includes possibly issuing misdemeanor citations, revoking beer permits, and closures of businesses under nuisance abatement ordinances.    The Directive issued by the Shelby County Health Department is also legally enforceable, and applies to all residents of Shelby County.

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: March 25, 2020

COVID-19 Cases
Shelby County Residents 170
Tennessee Total Cases 784*
*As of 2:00 p.m. 3/25/20
Other Jurisdictions:
Tipton County, TN 6
Desoto County, MS 29
Crittenden County, AR 4 or under
Numbers current as of 2:00 p.m. 3/25/2020

Shelby County currently has 170 confirmed COVID-19 cases. All out-of-county residents have been transferred to their local health department jurisdictions.

Going forward, Shelby County Health Department will only track resident cases.

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).

Categories
Announcements Health Department

TN Department of Health Update (3/25)

Tennessee department of health logo

March 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is providing this update regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Cases in healthcare workers or in your facility:

As COVID-19 spreads, healthcare related exposures are increasing. We have developed the guidance below for individual providers and facilities on how to respond if there is a case (or suspected case) in a healthcare staff member.

  • Guidance for healthcare providers diagnosed with COVID-19

Communicating with patients:

TDH has developed resources that may be useful in communicating with your patients. These documents provide actionable steps and guidance for those who may have been exposed, those awaiting test results, and those diagnosed.

Testing guidance:

Not every patient with respiratory illness needs to be tested for COVID-19. Most people have mild illness and are able to recover at home, and there is no treatment specifically approved for this virus.

TDH’s triage and assessment criteria are available here.We continue to encourage patients to seek care first from their usual site of care and we are working to enable providers to accommodate that need. We know that shortages of PPE, testing supplies, and testing sites are common. A number of healthcare facilities have established remote assessment sites which can be accessed across the state. While we are looking at every opportunity to fix those problems, permanent solutions are not immediately available and we need your help in addressing these shortages by implementing strategies to conserve PPE and by minimizing unnecessary tests. While providers do not need to consult with public health before sending a test to a commercial lab, providers should prioritize testing for individuals who are the sickest, have comorbid conditions putting them at higher risk, or who are healthcare workers. Prioritizing tests for those individuals is essential to improving turnaround times while there is national shortage of test reagents and supplies, among public health and commercial laboratories. 

Counterfeit COVID-19 tests  

The Food & Drug Administration and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations team are monitoring reports about counterfeit COVID-19 testing kits. At this time, the FDA has not authorized any test that is available to purchase for testing yourself at home for COVID-19. More information can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/coronaviruscovid-19-update-fda-alerts-consumers-about-unauthorized-fraudulent-covid-19-test-kits. TDH encourages use of reputable and known testing resources to prevent retesting and delays in healthcare and public health actions.

If you believe you may have received a counterfeit COVID-19 test, you can report it to the HSI Tip Line at (866) 347-2423 or via an anonymous online form at: https://www.ice.gov/webform/hsi-tip-form.

Reporting COVID-19 cases and deaths: 

COVID-19 cases and deaths are immediately reportable to TDH and full guidance is available online here Cases: Healthcare providers have 3 options for reporting laboratory confirmed cases:

  • Fax the PUI Form and a copy of the positive laboratory report to 615-741-3857
  • Call the TDH COVID-19 call center between 8am-8pm, 615-741-7247
  • Submit an electronic Morbidity Report*

*If you already report diseases or conditions to TDH via Morbidity Reports, you can continue to do this for COVID-19 positive labs. These are electronically submitted to NBS through https://hssi.tn.gov/auth/login.

Death: Providers have 2 options for reporting deaths in a suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID19 case among their patients or in their facility:

  • Providers can inform their county medical examiner of the death, and the county medical examiner will then notify the Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner.
  • Fax the PUI Form (noting the field indicating death) and a copy of the positive laboratory report to 615-741-3857. An updated form can be submitted indicating death.

Elective dental and medical procedures

Governor Lee has signed Executive Order 18, which states that dental service providers shall not perform any non-emergency dental or oral procedures. All hospitals and surgical outpatient facilities in the State of Tennessee shall not perform non-essential procedures, which include any medical procedure that is not necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a patient, as determined by a licensed medical provider. Ambulatory providers should continue to treat patients, preferably via telehealth and telemedicine when possible to minimize exposure risks.

This order will preserve staff, personal protective equipment, and patient care supplies, ensure staff and patient safety, and expand available capacity.

Telehealth

There has been a rapid expansion in reimbursement opportunities for telehealth, now including homebased telehealth coverage by nearly every plan in the state during this time of public health response. Please utilize telehealth and telephone triage as much as possible for both sick and well patients. This is critical to minimize public exposure to illness and to optimize capacity for routine and emergent are. Several resources have been put together that I’ve listed below. Utilization of telehealth and telephonic management should be optimized in all settings.

https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/mentalhealth/documents/TDMHSAS_Coronavirus_Telehealth_ FAQ_3.20.20.pdf

Provider webinars

TDH has provided a series of webinars to share clinical and public health updates for front-line clinicians. Recordings of past webinars, and information to join future ones are available here. The TDH site for COVID-19 resources is https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html. It is updated continuously.

CDC Clinician Outreach & Communication Activity (COCA) call

CDC has scheduled another COCA call TODAY (Wednesday, March 25, 2020 from 2:00–3:00 EDT. The presenters will provide a COVID-19 update and discuss strategies for healthcare facilities to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies such as eye protection, isolation gowns, facemasks, and N95 respirators. More details available here.

Thank you for all that you do in keeping Tennesseans safe and healthy. 

Tennessee Department of Health

Categories
Announcements City Council

MATA Announces Free Fares Effective March 25 – April 30

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis City Council yesterday unanimously approved temporary free fares for all customers who ride any mode of public transportation operated by the Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA). This effort is part of an overall strategy to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The free fares will begin on Wednesday, March 25 and continue until Thursday, April 30. At this time, MATA is continuing to operate its normal service.


The move to make MATA rides free during a time when the transit authority is experiencing a drop in ridership is due to information provided by public health experts that the Coronavirus COVID-19 can live on paper (such as money and farecards) for days. Free fares will also help MATA to reinforce social distancing measures since passengers will be asked to board through the rear doors to limit direct contact with the operators. Passengers using assistive devices will still be able to board using the front door/ramp.


“We’re using tape to mark six feet spaces between the customer and the operator and we recently issued additional guidance to space customers apart so this is another move to try to combat the spread of the disease in Memphis and Shelby County,” MATA Chief Executive Officer Gary Rosenfeld said.


This guidance is in addition to previous information issued by MATA within the last few days:


MATA Fleet
▪ Per the Mayor’s Executive Order, no more than 10 people will be allowed to board fixed route buses and Trolley cars. This new guidance is in effect until April 7 (unless otherwise extended).

▪ Every other row on fixed route buses and Trolley cars will be blocked to maintain social distance and encourage customers to sit apart. Note: Since the capacity of the buses has been restricted to maintain social distancing guidelines, some customers may have to wait on the next bus to arrive.

▪ No more than two passengers will be allowed to ride on any MATAplus paratransit vehicle (includes personal care attendant and/or escort).

▪ Effective until April 7 (unless otherwise extended), MATA will only transport MATAplus paratransit customers to work, medical-related destinations (including dialysis, doctor appointments and pharmacies) and to purchase/collect food from grocery stores, restaurants, or food distribution centers at non-profit organizations.

MATA Facilities
▪ MATA headquarters, located at 1370 Levee Road, is closed to the public from March 24-April 7 (unless otherwise extended).

▪ The Trolley facility, located at 547 North Main, is closed to the public from March 24-April 7 (unless otherwise extended).

▪ The customer lobby areas and public restrooms at each Transit Center will continue to be closed to the public until further notice.

▪ The Assessment Center located in the Airways Transit Center is closed to the public until further notice.


As the disease continues to spread, MATA will continue performing its daily fleet and bus shelter cleanings which includes comprehensive disinfecting and sanitizing measures. In addition, customers can practice the following preventative measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):


▪ Stay home if possible.

▪ If you’re sick, stay home.

▪ Practice social distancing. Place at least six feet between yourself and others to reduce your risk of being exposed.

▪ Wash your hands. Wash them often. Wash them thoroughly using soap and water for 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer frequently if it is available.

▪ Please avoid direct contact with others. No handshaking. A friendly wave, a head nod, a fist or elbow bump are all acceptable forms of greeting others.

▪ Eat right (fruits and vegetables) and drink plenty of fluids like water.

▪ Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose or eyes.

▪ Practice respiratory etiquette by using a tissue if coughing or sneezing, then throwing the tissue away into a trashcan and washing your hands.


About MATA The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) is the public transportation provider for the Memphis area. As one of the largest transit operators in the state of Tennessee, MATA transports customers in the City of Memphis and parts of Shelby County on fixed-route buses, paratransit vehicles and vintage rail trolleys. For more information, visit www.matatransit.com.

Categories
Announcements

Executive Order extending State of Emergency

Executive Order extending State of Emergency by Mayor Jim Strickland, City of Memphis