MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has once again issued a state of emergency for the city.
Every seven days since mid-March, Mayor Strickland has had to issue one.
We reported on his first declaration on March 17. It did several things, like making it easier for the city to get federal and state funding as well as buy equipment and supplies.
Soon after that, the mayor issued executive orders to close restaurants, and bars and issued safer-at-orders.
Eventually all of those restrictions were lifted as part of the city’s Back-to-Business plan.
As cases continue to rise this summer, we see are seeing bars close once more, but not as a part of the Mayor's executive orders.
The Shelby County Health Department’s new directive is what requires bars that don’t serve food to shut down.
“What leads to transmission is being socially engaged with others, being in small groups, whether it’s in household parties, out in the public, in bars, in restaurants, is contributing to our transmission,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Department.
While a local state of emergency in Memphis can only last seven days at a time, a statewide state of emergency can last much longer.
The state of emergency that Tennessee Governor Bill Lee issued a week ago lasts until August 29. Similar to the local declaration, a statewide state of emergency puts Tennessee in a position to bring in additional funds from FEMA, making it easier to respond to the pandemic.