With Memphis-area residents encouraged to wear masks outside amid the pandemic, the Rev. Dr. Edward Parker Jr., pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Whitehaven and president of the Tennessee School of Religion, steps out in a style befitting a member of Omega Psi Phi, Fraternity, Inc. (Photo: Tyrone P. Ea- sley)

Gov. Lee offers National Guard to test at businesses

Gov. Bill Lee while touring the acute care hospital that evolved out of the former home of The Commercial Appeal Newspaper. (Photo: Gary S. Whitlow/GSW Enterprises/The New Tri-State Defender)

by Kimberlee Kruesi and Jonathan Mattise —

NASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Lee on Friday promised business leaders that he would send the National Guard to help their companies with COVID-19 testing should they ask for it.

Lee made the announcement while speaking on a livestream for a Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry event, where the Republican touted the state’s high testing rate while repeatedly pointing out that Tennessee was one of the first states in the country to reopen during the coronavirus outbreak.

The event was not included on Lee’s weekly public schedule. During the middle of his remarks, he urged businesses to “engage in testing” as Tennessee continues to lift restrictions that were implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We will have the National Guard show up at your place and do testing with large sections of your employees,” Lee said. “It’s not only important for your employees to feel safe, but for your customers to feel safe and for Tennessee to continue to have a very good picture of the state of the virus in our general population and that can come from the private sector.”

It is unclear if businesses are already requesting and receiving testing support from the National Guard. Lee’s spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment. READ MORE


Limited COVID-19 Testing Available on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020

Christ Community Health Services, Inc. began coronavirus testing by appointment on March 21, among the first to do so in Shelby County. (Courtesy photo)

The Shelby County Health Department notes that free testing for COVID-19 will be available over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Anyone who has any COVID-like respiratory symptoms, even mild symptoms, including fever, cough, headache or body aches, may be tested for the virus.

Additionally, anyone who has been in contact with someone who has tested positive or anyone employed in essential occupations, including healthcare, first responder roles (police, fire fighter, EMT, etc.), corrections, and frontline roles working with the public: grocery, fast food, retail, may be tested at no cost at one of the community testing sites listed here: https://covid19.memphistn.gov/resources/covid-19-testing-sites-in-shelby-county/.

All previously scheduled testing sites will be open on Saturday and Sunday, May 22 and 23, 2020.

On Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, 2020, the following sites will be offering testing:

  • Walgreens – 3502 Summer Avenue, Memphis, 38122, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Schedule online at walgreens.com/coronavirus.
  • MedPost CareSpot Urgent Care Centers – five locations in Shelby County. Find the location near you at MedPost.com.

The Shelby County Health Department’s COVID-19 hotline (833-943-1658) will be taking calls over the Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After-hours calls are returned as soon as possible on the next day. More information about COVID-19 is available on the Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage: shelbytnhealth.com/coronavirus.

Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: May 23, 2020

TODAY’S TSD MUSIC VIBE: “Your Life is King” — Sade