Customers wearing masks and gloves and standing on spots marked for social distancing is part of experiencing reality at the Home Depot in Midtown during the public health emergency. (Photo: Karanja A. Ajanaku)

Shelby County Health Department Update: April 18, 2020

Shelby County currently has 1731 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The total number of deaths in Shelby County attributed to COVID-19 is 37.

Shelby County Health Department: www.shelbytnhealth.com/coronavirus


Chattanooga allows drive-in church services after lawsuit

(AP) — A Tennessee mayor is reversing course to allow drive-in church services during the coronavirus pandemic after the city was sued over its ban.

Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke confirmed the change in policy Saturday on Twitter. The conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom recently filed a federal lawsuit over the drive-in church ban on behalf of Chattanooga-based Metropolitan Tabernacle Church.

“Every week I sign a new executive order. I have spoken to pastors who assured me they could operate drive in church safely, with spaces between the cars and no collection plates,” Berke said Saturday on Twitter. “This week’s order therefore permits drive in church. Please observe safely.” READ more


UTHSC medical student organization creates fact sheet for kids

A student organization at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center is doing its part to make sure that children in the Memphis community are properly informed about the coronavirus (COVID-19) through an age-specific flyer, the UTHSC Coronavirus Fact Sheet for Kids.

The document, created by Health Students Teach Memphis Youth, explains a range of things from what a virus is to the importance of social distancing. The organization, which operates through the College of Medicine, educates local elementary and middle school students about various aspects of health, from nutrition to mental and physical wellness to safety.

In the United States, there have been approximately 2,572 COVID-19 cases among children under 18, which is approximately 1.7 percent of reported cases overall. Because children are likely to be asymptomatic carriers and thus vectors for transmitting the virus to adults, the student group felt it was important to teach kids how proper hygiene practices and physical distancing can go a long way for community health.

“We are hoping that this educates our families in Shelby County to take proactive measures to combat COVID-19, whether that is in the form of social distancing or washing hands,” said third-year medical student Rahul Mohan, who is also one of the leaders of the Health Students Teach Memphis Youth.

“By compiling and releasing this information, we aim to not only prevents individual families from falling ill, but to also support a community-wide movement among our families to take this virus seriously.”

The flyer has been distributed digitally to schools and organizations in Memphis and Nashville. It can also be found on the UTHSC Coronavirus Website Resources page.


An update on local testing availability

Via his weekly update, Mayor Jim Strickland says, “if you or someone you know has not been tested, and you’re experiencing symptoms—get tested. We have the resources readily available, and they’re all free.

“You don’t need a doctor’s referral, but you do have to make an appointment. At this time, we are not–let me say that again–we are not testing asymptomatic individuals. We have testing sites all over our city and starting today, we’re adding more capacity in Frayser and Hickory Hill. For a full list of test sites, click here.


Music break: Where is the love? – The Black Eyed Peas