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COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (10-21)

COVID-19 Update from Mayor Strickland (10-21)

As I mentioned last week and the Shelby County Health Department reiterated to us yesterday, all of our data points—new cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations—are on the rise.

We have the ability to control the spread of this virus, but we have to make an active choice to do it. We must keep diligently wearing a mask, washing our hands thoroughly and often, and keep social distancing.

Below is the information for the last week. As you will see, the numbers are heading in the wrong direction.

Mask Enforcement


Received 8 complaints

  • City Mask Ordinance
  • Code completed 9 inspections based on processed complaints.
  • 3 business received warnings. 
  • 0 business received a summons.
  • 0 businesses received a second summons
  • H.D. Mask and Other Violations
  • Code completed 2 inspections based on processed complaints
  • 0 business received warnings


To date, 1,226 City Mask Complaints have been inspected by Code:

  • 1,104 complaints have been resolved as “compliant” following inspection by Code
  • 31 current open matters.  The following is a breakdown of the open matters:
  • 18 pending inspections 
  • 2 business on 1st Violation
  • 1 businesses on 2nd Violation
  • 0 businesses on 3rd Violation
  • 6 businesses have been issued first summons
  • 2 businesses have been issued second summons 
  • 2 businesses were closed at first inspection (NOH)


To date, 247 H.D. related complaints have been inspected by Code:

  • 197 complaints have been resolved as “compliant” following inspection by Code.
  • 3 current open matters.  The following is a breakdown of the open matters:
  • 3 pending inspection 
    • 0 businesses on 1st Violation
    • 0 business on 2nd Violation
    • 0 businesses on 3rd Violation 
    • 0 businesses were closed at first inspection


To date, 605 City Mask Ordinance violations have been issued (this is the cumulative total for violations issued in closed and open matters)

To date, 88 Health Department violations have been issued (this is the cumulative total for violations issued in closed and open matters)

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

Shelby County COVID-19 Cases
Total Shelby County Cases35,077
New Cases Today227
Deaths Total556
Deaths Reported Last 24 Hours2
Total Tested in Shelby County519,186

Tennessee Total Cases
As of 2:00 p.m. 10/20/20
Other Jurisdictions
Tipton County, TN2,206
Desoto County, MS6,701
Crittenden County, AR2,170
Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 10/21/20

Shelby County Health Department is tracking clusters in facilities that serve certain vulnerable populations:

Here is information about clusters considered to be resolved. A cluster is considered resolved once a facility has gone 28 days without a new case:

Health Directive No. 14 provides further protection for individuals who are facing eviction and to clarify ongoing questions about whether schools may reopen.

  • It provides the following required notice to tenants in eviction matters: “If you or anyone in your household are currently quarantined or are in isolation due to COVID-19 and are unable to secure housing at this time, please notify the Shelby County Health Department by calling 901-222-MASK (which is 901-222-6275) or by faxing the information to 901-222-8249. Temporary housing support may be available.”
  • It provides clarification that school opening/closure decisions are for the local boards of education. The Health Department will provide technical assistance as requested by any school.

Polling Locations:

  • Masking, social distancing and handwashing are key to reducing the spread of COVID-19. Many precautions are in place to reduce the risk of transmission at polling sites. Masks are highly encouraged. Some individuals may not be able to wear a mask or facial covering for medical reasons. It is important that all people have the ability to exercise their right to vote.

Many Shelby County families are planning for the upcoming holiday season, beginning with Halloween. The Shelby County Health Department is sharing information based upon guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to take part in Halloween celebrations in ways that reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Halloween Activities:

Not Permitted: Gatherings and events that are not allowed under the current Health Directive:

  • Festivals, fairs, parades, large-scale sporting events and large-scale community events unless the Department has approved a site-specific plan for the event.

Some Halloween traditions are fun, but may increase the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Trick-or-treating may present a risk because it may be difficult for children to maintain social distancing. Trick-or-treating may be made safer by:

  • Avoiding direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Giving out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Setting up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to pick up.
  • Washing hands before handling treats.
  • Wearing a mask.

“Trunk-or-treating” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats poses similar risk to children if they do not maintain recommended social distancing. Following the recommendations listed above may make trunk-or-treating safer.

Safer Alternatives:

  • Online parties/contests (i.e. costume or pumpkin carving)
  • Drive-by events, including events where individual participants remain in their vehicles.
  • Halloween movie nights at drive-in theaters that meet the requirements of the current Health Directive.
  • Decorating homes and yards with Halloween-themed decorations.
  • Outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities.

Personal Protection Measures:

  • If you are sick or have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19, stay home and away from others and seek testing.
  • Correctly wear a cloth facial covering to prevent disease spread. Wear a cloth mask with two or more layers over the nose and mouth and secure it under the chin.
  • Avoid confined spaces – Actively avoid indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least six feet between yourself and others.
  • Avoid close contact – Stay at least six feet away from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially when talking, eating and drinking.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Clean frequently touched items regularly.

Shelby County Health Department’s recommendations will be updated when revised guidance is issued by the Tennessee Department of Health and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Know where to get reliable information:

Beware of scams, false news and hoaxes about COVID-19. Accurate information, including announcements of new cases in Shelby County will always be distributed by the Shelby County Health Department through press releases, social media, and our website:

  • Social media: @ShelbyTNHealth on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Other reliable sources of information about COVID-19 are:

Shelby County has plenty of testing capacity available, and anyone who thinks they need a test should get one. Two of the community drive-through testing sites are now available to anyone, and no appointment is needed during their regular testing hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday. Those sites are:

  • 2355 Appling City Cove
  • 1720 RKS Commercial Cove (off Lamar Avenue)

The Shelby County Health Department, in association with community partners Latino Memphis and First Baptist Church – Broad, is offering free COVID-19 walk-up testing throughout the month of October. 

  • Saturday, October 24, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Where: First Baptist Church – Broad | 2835 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112
    • On-Site Contact Information: Barbara King | 901-756-1213

The testing is free and available to anyone, age 13 and older, while testing supplies last. Spanish interpretation will be available at both locations throughout the testing events. Each person tested will be asked to provide an address and two telephone numbers, so that they can be contacted within two to three days with the test results.

Testing will be available to those who are asymptomatic and those who have symptoms. Free reusable masks and flu vaccines will be provided to everyone who is tested. Grocery assistance will also be provided to cover basic home and food expenses for individuals awaiting COVID-19 testing results.

The Health Department strongly recommends vaccination against influenza. It is possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, and that may increase the risk of severe illness. The flu vaccine will not protect you against COVID-19, but it is the best protection we have against seasonal influenza.

Flu vaccine is now available on a sliding fee scale based on income at all the Health Department’s public health clinics listed below:

  • Cawthon Public Health Clinic

1000 Haynes, 38114

  • Collierville Public Health Clinic (Tuesday and Thursday Only, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

167 Washington St., 38017

  • Hickory Hill Public Health Clinic

  6590 Kirby Center Cove, 38118

  • Immunization Clinic

814 Jefferson, Rm. 216, 38105

  • Millington Public Health Clinic

8225 Highway 51 North, 38053

  • Southland Mall Public Health Clinic

1287 Southland Mall, 38116

  • Sycamore View Public Health Clinic

1826 Sycamore View Road, 38134