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TSD COVID-19 Flash!

Mask or facial covering guidance

A message from the City of Memphis-Shelby County Joint COVID Task Force provides guidelines for wearing masks and/or facial covering.

Here is the bottomline: “At present there is no clear strong evidence for the general public to wear a mask, however, given widespread transmission of COVID-19, the general public may consider using a mask (when available) or a facial covering.”

A surgical mask and an N95 respirator.

The message about masks and facial covering came with this context:

“Surgical masks are proven to reduce the transmission of infection. Masks serve two functions. First not transmitting infection to others and, second, not becoming infected with an infection. In general, masks should be used in public by those who are ill and caregivers of persons with a respiratory illness.”

It ended with this:

“All individuals should practice hand hygiene and maintain a distance of six feet to reduce the risk of infection. Masks may serve as additional protection when combined with other preventive measures.”

COVID-19 Unified Command details response to nursing home outbreak

NASHVILLE – Saying the outbreak at the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing was a situation that “has escalated quickly,” the head of Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s COVID-19 Unified Command is urging nursing homes and assisted care facilities to “reach out to us as soon as cases are identified within their populations.”

Twenty-four residents of the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing were transported to a Sumner County hospital on Friday. One of the residents later died. About 60 residents and 30-plus staff registered positive for COVID-19.

The scene outside of the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing, where a COVID-19 outbreak resulted in a death and tens of other residents testing positive. (Photo: Screenshot WSMV)

Unified Command is a joint operation between the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Department of Military and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

Stuart McWhorter

“Unified Command has worked in partnership with the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing and local partners in testing residents, transporting the sick and further evaluating those at risk,” said Unified Command Director Stuart McWhorter.

The Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing will undergo further investigation and Unified Command reports that the center “is believed to have followed proper protocols at this time.”

This response timeline was issued by Unified Command:

Sunday, March 22, 2020
Gov. Lee signs Executive Order 17 restricting outside visitors to assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

Friday, March 27, 2020
The State of Tennessee, through the Unified Command of TDH, Military, and TEMA, worked with the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing to transport 23 residents to Sumner Regional Medical Center on Friday, March 27, 2020.

On short notice, the State mobilized to arrange the transport of the residents through an ambulance strike team of EMS professionals from Sumner Co., Cheatham Co., Dickson Co., First Call, and MedicOne. EMS strike team members are highly-trained for these types of emergency health situations, and stand-up quickly to provide valuable life-saving care.

The health emergency at the private Gallatin facility necessitated quick decision-making on the part of State and Local emergency professionals to act for the well-being of these residents.

Saturday, March 28, 2020
More than 20 National Guard personnel onsite assisted Gallatin Center with COVID-19 testing for all residents and staff. Residents exhibiting symptoms were isolated pending results. Further guidance was issued to all nursing homes and assisted care facilities across the state, outlining reporting expectations and best practices.

Sunday, March 29, 2020
Results were returned with 59 additional residents testing positive for COVID-19. These residents are now being transported to Sumner Regional Medical Center for care. Thirty-three members of the Gallatin Center staff have tested positive and are now isolated at home. The State of Tennessee is facilitating deep cleaning and disinfecting of the facility and providing supplemental support for residents who currently do not have COVID-19.

More information regarding COVID-19 Unified Command response is available HERE.

Today’s morning numbers from the Shelby County Health Dept.

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

“This is another sign of the seriousness of the novel coronavirus,” Said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.

“That’s why we are ramping up testing capacity, encouraging employers to offer more alternative work solutions, and asking the public to limit nonessential activity.”

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:

Memphis in May locks in on October

The Memphis in May International Festival (Memphis in May) will become Memphis in October, adjusting to account for the effects of the worldwide viral pandemic.

Memphis in May officials detailed the rescheduled festival on Friday after having announced earlier that it would be reset for the fall of 2020.

“For forty-four years, Memphis in May has been a revenue generator for the City of Memphis, particularly through the business it brings to our tourism industry’s key segments of lodging and hospitality,” said

In setting the context for the rescheduling, James L. Holt, Memphis in May president and CEO, noted the revenue generator the festival has been for local business, particularly the key tourism industry segments of lodging and hospitality, over the last 44 years.

“With the difficult times those businesses are facing now, we felt it was more important than ever that we do our part to help revitalize the local economy. The Memphis in May events are a source of civic pride and unity for Memphis and the Mid-South, and this fall will certainly be the time for our community to come together.”

The Memphis in May board of directors made the decision after a two- and 30-minute online meeting on Thursday. Festival officials project a $2 million loss for fiscal year 2020.

Here are the rescheduled festival event dates:

  • World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: Sept. 30-Oct. 3,
  • 2020 Beale Street Music Festival: Oct. 16-18,
  • 2020 Great American River Run: TBA (The date to be announced in the coming weeks.)

If the new dates conflict with the schedules of those who had planned to attend, Memphis in May will offer patrons the option to defer passes to the 2021 events, donate the cost of their passes to the non-profit Festival for a charitable tax deduction, or request a refund. Information for each of these options has been emailed to patrons and is posted to the event pages of www.memphisinmay.org.

According to Memphis in May, the festival’s programs contributed more than $149.1 million in economic impact to the community and $4.6 million in tax revenue for the City of Memphis in fiscal 2019.

 (For more information, visit www.memphisinmay.org.)


  • This year’s Juneteenth Urban Music Festival is being delayed until 2021, Telisa Franklin, the festival’s president, has announced.
  • The Africa In April Cultural Awareness Festival is postponed and will be rescheduled when authorized, according to Executive Director David L. Acey Sr. and Associate Director Yvonne B. Acey.

More about that nursing home evacuation in Gallatin, Tn.

NASHVILLE (AP) — A Tennessee nursing home has moved 24 patients to a local hospital after some tested positive for COVID-19, and the hospital said Saturday that one of the patients has died.

The remaining 23 patients have been admitted to the Sumner County Regional Medical Center and are in isolation, according to a post Saturday on the hospital’s official Facebook page. The hospital did not disclose whether the patient who died had tested positive for COVID-19 or was one of those with COVID-19 symptoms whose test results were not complete. READ MORE


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