TIMELINE: Mid-South coronavirus updates March 27

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The impact of the novel coronavirus is being felt all across the Mid-South where new cases are being announced every day and new steps are being taken to help limit the spread. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

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Below are the latest updates for Friday, March 27

UPDATE: (9:11 p.m.) There are 386 confirmed cases in Arkansas with 12 cases in Crittenden Co.

UPDATE: (8:40 p.m.) Southland Casino in West Memphis, Arkansas donates food to beat hunger during coronavirus crisis.

CLICK HERE for more details.

UPDATE: (7:15 p.m.) While kids are home, SCS is offering online educational resources.

UPDATE: (7:03 p.m.) Arkansas’ Governor tweeted the state’s plan for accommodating more hospital beds and ventilators in response to the COVID-19 patient updates.

UPDATE: (6:50 p.m.) Bartlett officials announced safer at home order will be expended until April 3.

UPDATE: (6:05 p.m.) In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 the Memphis Police Department is working to actively serve the community while implementing social distancing.

Starting Saturday, March 28, 2020, at 7:00 a.m., the MPD will start a Teleserve Unit; meaning additional officers will be available to take police reports over the phone instead of on-the-scene face to face contact.

The following are acceptable minor incidents that can be taken over the phone; however, there may be instances where an officer will still be required to make the scene:

Larceny/Theft Offenses

Thefts from Vehicle


Threatening or Obscene Phone Calls

Identity Theft

If you are a victim of a non-violent crime, call MPD Teleserve: 901-636-7899, for emergencies dial 911.

UPDATE: (5:30 p.m.) Arkansas health officials announced there are 381 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

UPDATE: (5:25 p.m.) Memphis Fire Department confirmed 5 employees tested positive for the coronavirus. There are also 108 employees in self-quarantine. A spokesperson said some of the people in self-quarantine are an entire class of new recruits. The spokesperson also said the people who tested positive were not exposed because of patient care. It was exposure from family, friends or off the job travel.

UPDATE: (5:10 p.m.) BlueCross says watch out for coronavirus scams

During this time, please beware of unsolicited phone calls, emails regarding coronavirus testing kits and vaccinations.

“We want to advise all of our members to be wary of phone calls or emails asking for their health plan and personal information for coronavirus testing kits and vaccinations,” said Julie Boerger, vice president and chief compliance officer. “BlueCross will not call you to schedule testing or vaccinations for the coronavirus – and if you receive a call, it’s a scam.”

  • Phone calls asking members for their subscriber ID/bank account information for free testing and/or services to cure or prevent coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Door-to-door solicitation for coronavirus testing and prescribing products to cure or prevent COVID-19
  • Bogus advertisements for vaccinations or medications to treat COVID-19
  • Phishing emails from impersonators of the World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) to solicit personal information
  • Advertisements offering health products such as teas, supplements or oils that are ineffective against COVID-19

Anyone receiving a suspicious call should report it to the BlueCross Fraud Unit at 1-888-343-4221.

UPDATE: (4:55 p.m.) A representative with Le Bonheur Children’s Outpatient Center in Tupelo confirmed an employee tested positive for covid-19. The employee had no contact with patients while symptomatic.

UPDATE (4:22 p.m.): NPC International Pizza Hut locations are looking to hire additional Delivery Drivers, Cooks and Shift Leaders to meet the increased demand for Delivery and Carryout in Memphis, TN:

Pizza Hut 2342 Frayser Blvd (901) 353-6040

Pizza Hut 4030 Singleton Pkwy (901) 388-1232

Pizza Hut 7911 US Highway 51 N (901) 872-8945

Pizza Hut 3026 Goodman Rd E (662) 349-2258

Pizza Hut 1109 N Missouri St (870) 735-7607

Pizza Hut 306 Highway 6 E (662) 563-2424

Pizza Hut 620 S State St (662) 627-2218

Pizza Hut 904 Highway 72 E (662) 286-3314

Pizza Hut 1506 University Ave (662) 236-2005

Pizza Hut 716 City Ave N (662) 837-4578

Pizza Hut 1029 Mulberry Ave (731) 645-3200

Pizza Hut 118 Norfleet Dr (662) 562-7600

Pizza Hut 602 W Market St (731) 658-4451

Pizza Hut 2519 Anderson Ave (731) 779-2444

Pizza Hut 829 Highway 51 N (901) 476-3001

Pizza Hut 340 Cleveland St (731) 635-4817

Pizza Hut 825 E Main St Suite B (870) 762-2224

Pizza Hut 2023 N Washington St (870) 633-9118

Pizza Hut 1275 W Keiser Ave Highway 140 W (870) 563-6067

Pizza Hut 704 N Sebastian (870) 572-2579

Pizza Hut 2321 Lake Rd (731) 286-4160

Pizza Hut 6213 Cockrum St (662) 893-6111

Pizza Hut 1680 Union Ave Suite 114 (901) 272-5096

Pizza Hut 1229 Getwell Rd (901) 452-5381

Pizza Hut 1940 Exeter Rd Suite 1 (901) 755-0111

Pizza Hut 6532 Quince Rd (901) 755-0129

Pizza Hut 6725 E Shelby Dr (901) 360-9140

Pizza Hut 5376 Knight Arnold Rd (901) 366-1018

Pizza Hut 4711 Elvis Presley Blvd (901) 396-6714

Pizza Hut 3578 Summer Ave (901) 327-4024

Pizza Hut 3810 E Shelby Dr (901) 565-0529

Pizza Hut 8979 US Highway 64 Suite 3 (901) 213-3484

Pizza Hut 3980 Goodman Rd W (662) 393-6645

Pizza Hut 3675 Southwind Park Cv Suite 107 (901) 624-7901

Pizza Hut 6168 Macon Rd (901) 386-9863

Pizza Hut 11615 Highway 70 Suite 102 (901) 867-2391

Pizza Hut 200 Chickasaw Ridge Dr Suite 12 (901) 466-7895

Pizza Hut 2919 Elmore Park Rd Suite 1 (901) 372-7260

Pizza Hut 382 Atoka Mclaughlin Dr Suite B (901) 837-9999

Pizza Hut 875 W Poplar Ave Suite 13 (901) 853-2400

Pizza Hut 714 N Germantown Pkwy Ste 5 (901) 309-0612

UPDATE: (3:22 p.m.) The City of Memphis Division of Parks and Neighborhoods announced that they will close all ball fields, basketball courts, skate, and dog parks in an effort to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said that right now, city parks like Tom Lee Park remain open, but if big crowds continue to gather, the city will have to close parks.

The city shut down Tom Lee Park on Thursday due to the size of the crowds.

Mayor Strickland’s statement on these closings:

UPDATE: (2:50 p.m.) The University of Tennessee Health Science Center COVID-19 testing site is now open to the public by appointment.

The university partnered with the Shelby County Health Department and the City of Memphis to provide a drive-thru testing site that can test exactly 150 people a day.

“Individuals showing symptoms can make an appointment by texting “covid” to 901.203.5526 or by scanning the QR code on the attached flyer. They will be connected to a computerized screening process to determine if symptoms merit testing. Individuals whose symptoms warrant testing will be given an appointment time for the site, which is open seven days a week, barring any closing due to inclement weather, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

UPDATE: (2:40 p.m.) Caregiver Inc. hiring during Coronavirus pandemic

Caregiver Inc. has openings for direct support specialists, who care for intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals in residential and group homes.

Jobs are available in Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

  • No experience required
  • Caregiver Inc. offers flexible schedules
  • Immediate training
  • Short-term, Long-term, Full and Part-time positions
  • Competitive compensation

Employment opportunities can be viewed at: https://cg-idd.com/jobs/

In Tennessee, Caregiver operates as Omni Support Services of Tennessee or Personal Care Choices in Chattanooga, Columbia, Greenville, Jackson, Knoxville, Maryville, Memphis, and Nashville.

UPDATE: (2:30 p.m.) Public visitation is no longer allowed at the Shelby County Jail, Jail East, or the Juvenile Detention Center, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Attorney visitation will be by video at 201 Poplar and Juvenile Court and non-contact at Jail East.

UPDATE: (2:11 p.m.) During a news conference, Governor Bill Lee announced the National Guard has deployed more than 150 to combat the coronavirus.

They are small ‘mobile teams’ so they move around to where they are needed most.

UPDATE: (2:00 p.m.) The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 1,203 as of March 27, 2020, including six deaths and 103 hospitalizations.

UPDATE: (1:52 p.m.) Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner extends the State of Emergency Executive order in the Town of Collierville effective March 27, 2020 until rescinded by the mayor.

This order pertains to the local state of emergency declared in Collierville on March 20 and the Safer at Home Order on March 23.

UPDATE: (1:35 p.m.) Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says that there are now 381 confirmed cases in the state.

Of those 381 cases, 48 of those patients are hospitalized, and 17 are on ventilators.

The death toll in the state remains at 3.

Governor Hutchinson said at the current rate, the state is anticipating the possibility of having 2000 cases in the state by the first week of April and 3500 cases by the second week of April.

Hutchinson says that he has ordered 10 additional National Guard members to help expand and plan for additional hospital beds in Arkansas.

The state has placed an order for 500 additional ventilators in Arkansas.

Governor Hutchinson also noted that local and state police will be enforcing the ban of gatherings more than 10 people.

UPDATE: (12:35 p.m.) An employee at the Memphis Health Center has tested positive for COVID-19.

The testing was done outside of the facility and reported to the health center by the employee.

The employee is in isolation at home.

The Health Center is located at 360 E. H. Crump Blvd.

UPDATE: (12 p.m.)The Shelby County District Attorney’s office released a video about COVID-19 updates in the county.

In the video, District Attorney Amy Weirich said the office is open and handling cases daily. The only cases being handled are in-custody cases.

Weirich said case victims and witnesses will be contacted directly by the office if they have to appear in court.

People who have been charged with a crime and are out of custody can expect to receive a letter from the DA stating their case has been dismissed.

The DA’s office is working to reduce the number of inmates at 201 daily.

Weirich said anyone who has been a victim of price gouging should contact the Tennessee Attorney General’s office.

Links to resources for victims of domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse can be found with the video.

Watch the full video here.

UPDATE: (11:45 a.m.) Memphis’ Veterans Affairs Medical Center is making it easier for veterans to access health services virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.

The VA is maximizing Connected Care programs such as VA Telehealth Services, My HealtheVet, Vet Text, VA Video Connect and VA Mobile. In some circumstances, popular platforms such as Facetime and Skype are used.

Some of the commonly used programs include:

VA Telehealth Services, which improves convenience by providing opportunities for face-to-face interactions with healthcare providers through a personal computer or mobile device.

My HealtheVet is VA’s web-based personal health record for veterans. With My HealtheVet, veterans have access to VA online tools that will help them track their health information and appointments, refill prescriptions, download information from their VA health records through VA Blue Button, communicate with their VA care team through Secure Messaging and access other resources to help them lead healthier lives.

VA Mobile develops mobile apps that offer safe and secure access to VA records, all from a mobile device.

UPDATE: (11:25 a.m.) Beginning Monday until further notice, MATA will only operate service on a Sunday schedule DAILY on certain routes, along with some additional service for providing connections to essential businesses.

Here’s a list of all of the routes that will be in service:

Route 2 Madison

Route 4 Walker

Route 8 Chelsea

Route 11 Frayser Raleigh

Route 26 Hickory Hill

Route 36 Hacks Cross

Route 39 S Third

Route 40 Wolfchase

Route 42 Crosstown

Route 50 Poplar

Route 52 Jackson

Route 53 Summer

Route 56 Lamar

Route 57 Park

Route 64 Airport Shuttle;

and the following routes in order to provide connections to essential services:

Route 34 Walnut Grove will operate seven days a week

Route 500 The Groove Shuttle will operate Monday-Friday.

The Main Street Trolley Rail Line will operate from 6:45 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 10 a.m.-6:10 p.m. on Sunday.

The Riverfront Line will operate from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

The Madison Line will operate from 6:45 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

MATAplus paratransit service will be available from 4:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. seven days a week. It will not just operate on Sundays.

UPDATE: (10:40 a.m.) SCS is asking seniors for their input on this year’s graduation.

The district wants to know how seniors would like them to make this graduation season special amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning tonight at 8:20 p.m., the district will be collecting seniors’ thoughts on possible celebrations.

Seniors are asked to send 220 words or less to SCSseniorstrong@scsk12.org by 8:20 p.m. Saturday night.⠀

UPDATE: (10:30 a.m.) The Medical Education & Research Institute (MERI) is urging the Mid-South community to donate needed medical supplies to Methodist Hospital in an effort to help protect their staff.

MERI donated supplies this week, including face shields, N95 masks, paper scrubs and Tyvec coveralls.

The organization said it wants to inspire other organizations to look at their supplies, even if they are limited, and step up to protect those on the front lines.

UPDATE: (10:15 a.m.) Earlier today, the City of Memphis released new numbers of coronavirus for Shelby County on their website. Those numbers were given to the city in error, according to the health department.

The correct number of confirmed cases in Shelby County is 223.

UPDATE: (10:05 a.m.) This morning the Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 94 new cases of COVID-19 in the state with two new deaths.

Mississippi’s total of coronavirus cases is now 579, with 8 deaths.

UPDATE: (9:01 a.m.) There are 351 cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas, according to state health officials.

UPDATE: (9 a.m.) There are now 254 cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County, according to health department officials.

There have been 76 hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Tennessee and three reported deaths.

The percentage of positive tests out of total tests taken in Tennessee is 6.42%.

UPDATE: (8:45 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank will hold a special Mobile Pantry food distribution this morning for families affiliated with Memphis Athletic Ministries (MAM) made possible by former University of Memphis and NBA basketball player and local philanthropist, Elliot Perry’s Perry Family Foundation.

Perry will be in attendance assisting with distribution, along with Memphis Grizzlies player Justise Winslow.

What: Mobile Pantry distribution for 200 households

Where: Memphis Athletic Ministries, 2107 Ball Rd., Memphis 38114­­

When: Volunteers at 9 a.m., distribution begins at 10 a

UPDATE: (8:15 a.m.) Today only, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the Mississippi State Department of Health are holding free drive-through COVID-19 testing at sites in Clarksdale and Olive Branch.

You must first be screened through the CSpire Health app or by calling 601-496-7200.

UPDATE: (7:30 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank is distributing food today through its Mobile Pantry at the following locations:

Dwelling Place Christian Church, 3034 Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Neighborhood Christian Center, 785 Jackson Ave., Memphis from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. *Must preregister for this site. Go to www.ncclife.org to register.

Tipton County, TN- 632 Luke Rd. in Covngton 10 a.m.

Lauderdale County, TN- Fountain of Life, 748 E. Tigrett St. in Halls 38040 10 a.m.

Volunteers will place food items in your car.

UPDATE: (7:20 a.m.) A University of Memphis graduate who has been quarantined in Japan for 38 days has been moved out of the facility this morning after his latest tests for the coronavirus came back negative.

He was moved to a hotel after his tests came back.

He is set to return home to the U.S. April 1.

UPDATE: (6:10 a.m.) The Tenessee Department of Health has opened a drive-thru COVID-19 assessment site in Dyer County.

Beginning today, the site will be open the public from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on weekdays.

The site is located at the Dyer County Health Department, 1755 Parr Ave. in Dyersburg.

UPDATE: (5:05 a.m.) Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is available at Tiger Lane.

No referral is required, and testing is free.

You must make an appointment. Click the link below for more information.

UPDATE: (5 a.m.) Below are the latest number of coronavirus cases by state for our area:

Tennessee 957 - 3 in Dyer County, 3 in Fayette County, 147 in Shelby County, 8 in Tipton County. 3 reported deaths.

Arkansas 349 - 2 in Crittenden County. 2 reported deaths.

Mississippi 485 - 17 in Coahoma County, 49 in DeSoto County, 10 in Lafayette County, 7 in Marshall County, 4 in Panola County, 6 in Tate County, 14 in Tippah County, 5 in Tunica County. 6 reported deaths.