MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With community transmission underway in Shelby County, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has declared a civil emergency effective midnight March 19.
Strickland is ordering all restaurants to close their dining rooms and offer takeout or delivery service only. Bars and gyms must close their facilities to the public, and the mayor is asking that all worship services be streamed online or postponed until further notice.
“I want our business owners, service workers, faith leaders and the citizens of Memphis to know these are not easy decisions, and they have not been made lightly,” writes Strickland in his daily update. “My heart goes out to all that are affected, and our office will do everything within our power to work with you to get the resources you need as quickly as we can get them.”
The Downtown Memphis Commission and the City of Memphis have identified and bagged meters throughout the downtown area to serve as temporary parking for curbside pickup and takeout.
Shelby County now has 10 confirmed cases of coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19, while Tennessee’s confirmed cases are up to 154. The number is expected to increase daily as testing becomes more widespread.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris declared an emergency Thursday, opening up the possibility to bring in federal funding to help respond to and recover from the global pandemic.
“It puts us in a position to be prepared if there is federal, state resources that become available," said Harris. “It allows us to streamline the purchasing process if we need equipment and other supplies to render lifesaving aid.”
We’ve created a list of resources for Mid-Southerners impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. See that list here.