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.
Below are the latest updates for Wednesday, March 18, 2020
UPDATE (8:40 p.m.) Dick’s Sporting Goods announced all locations will be closed until April 2.
However, they will implement Curbside Contactless Pickup for customers who order through their mobile app. They are providing full pay and benefits to their employees.
Old Navy also announced its closure.
UPDATE: (5:45 p.m.) The city of Memphis released the following statement about temporary leave and travel for their employees.
Over the last several days, we’ve received questions about our temporary leave and travel policy. In short, we are requiring employees to isolate themselves at home for two weeks if they traveled out of the country or to 5 cities in the United States where there is a large community spread of the coronavirus. To read the policy in-depth, please follow the link.
The governor released his requests for help with economic injury for the state.
Gov. Bill Lee announced he has submitted a request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Any Tennessee small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 will be eligible to apply for disaster loan assistance of up to $2 million per applicant.
“For most of my life, I’ve been a small business owner and understand the unique challenges each of you face,” Lee said. “While I am pleased with our progress on targeted relief for small businesses, we know this is just a first step from our federal partners to provide liquidity to our businesses. We are in constant dialogue with our delegation members to ensure that federal aid is responsive to our concerns and needs.”
The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster’s impact. Interest rates for the loans are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations.
Information about the SBA’s District Office in Tennessee can be found here.
Up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Tennessee can be found here.
UPDATE (5:35 p.m.) The Memphis Zoo announced it will temporarily close March 19.
UPDATE: (4:10 p.m.) Arkansas is up to 33 cases of the coronavirus.
There is still none in our viewing area.
UPDATE (3:30 p.m.) The Nike Foundation announced a more than $15 million donation to the covid19 response efforts.
The Mid-South Food Bank and the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis will receive $250,000 each.
UPDATE (2:50 p.m.) Wolfchase Galleria will close starting at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday until March 29.
Simon, the mall’s owner, announced that all of their retail properties - including malls, Premium Outlets, and Mills in the U.S. - would follow this order.
UPDATE (2:45 p.m.) The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis announced that they are closing until April 6.
TONIGHT on FOX13 News at 5, Tony Sloan talks with the club to see how they are shifting to virtual activities during this shut down.
UPDATE (2:40 p.m.) Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital has released updated changes to policies at the hospital.
In addition to setting up a tent outside the ER for screening and postponing all elective surgery, the hospital announced the following changes to their visitation policy:
Visitation - Only two healthy adult designated caregivers will be allowed to visit patients.
All visitors to any Le Bonheur facility will be screened upon entrance. If they meet any of the criteria below, they will be asked not to enter the facility:
• Had contact (within six feet for 10 minutes) with suspected COVID-19 patient
• Traveled out of the country within the last 14 days to restricted countries
• Feeling feverish or experiencing chills in the last 48 hours
• Fever of 100.4 or greater in the last 48 hours
Screening checkpoints will be located at entrances.
Le Bonheur Associates Screening – Starting later this week, providers and employees of Le Bonheur will undergo screening when entering a Le Bonheur campus building. They will receive the same verbal and temperature screening.
Volunteers – Our volunteer program has been suspended to limit visitors to the building.
Information for Parents – Visit www.lebonheur.org/coronavirus for the latest information and links to a COVID-19 Resource Center for parents.
UPDATE (2:35 p.m) Vitalant said Wednesday afternoon that cancelled blood drives and coronavirus fears have led to a shortage in blood supply. They are asking all healthy donors to “turn out in force” to avoid a critical shortage.
“It’s extremely important right now for healthy people to make a blood donation appointment by calling 877-25-VITAL (877-258-4825) or going online to vitalant.org. Vitalant has nearly 125 donation centers across the country, with 5 in the Memphis area.”
Here are the list of Memphis locations:
- Paul Barret – 1045 Madison Ave.
- Bartlett – 7505 Hwy. 64 Suite 109
- DeSoto – 1055 Goodman Rd. E. Suite J
- East – 4702 Spotswood Ave.
- Germantown – 2095 Exeter, #75
UPDATE (2:06 p.m.) During a news conference, the Shelby County Superintendent said all school activities including prom, practices and other events have been postponed.
They will put out a plan after the district returns to normal.
Starting on March 23, more than 60 sites will work from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to provide food for people who are currently food insecure. It will be walk up or drive through.
They will not turn away any children.
“They are all our children.”
UPDATE (2:00 p.m.) The Tennessee Department of Health reports that there are now 98 cases in the state.
There are still only four cases in Shelby County and they are the only cases in our area.
Director Alisa Haushalter said the fourth case of coronavirus in the county was associated with travel. “Someone visiting them who had come to their home when they were ill, so we still believe that those are related to someone who contracted the illness in another area coming into Shelby County and we still do not have evidence of community-based transmission,” she said.
Haushalter said it is possible we could learn about new positive cases daily because of added testing. She said there are at least 20 pending tests at the state lab.
UPDATE: (1:20 p.m.) Arkansas Health officials confirmed there are 30 cases of coronavirus in the state.
There are 50 people under investigation and none of the confirmed are in our viewing area.
UPDATE: (1:20 p.m.) YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South will close all locations at 8 p.m. Wednesday until further notice.
UPDATE: (1:00 p.m.) Christ Community Health Services will offer 50 free tests on Saturday for those who believe they have symptoms of the coronavirus.
Those who wish to be tested can text “test2020” to 91999 and follow the texting prompts.
The testing will be conducted from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 3362 S. Third St.
For additional information, visit their website.
UPDATE: (12:20 p.m.) Hourly workers for Shelby County Schools will get paid today, two days earlier than expected.
SCS Superintendent Joris Ray said this is in response to workers having to spend money on extra cleaning supplies and stocking food at home.
UPDATE: (12:00 p.m.) President Donald Trump said the Department of Housing and Urban Development is suspending foreclosures and evictions during the coronavirus outbreak.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April,” Trump said at a Coronavirus Task Force news conference.
UPDATE: (9:20 a.m.) The Mississippi Department of Health confirmed 13 more cases of coronavirus in the state.
The state’s total is now at 34 confirmed cases.
The new cases include 2 people in Bolivar County, 2 people in Coahoma County, 1 person in DeSoto County, 1 person in Hancock County, 1 person in Harris County, 3 people in Madison County, 1 Pearson in Pearl River County and 1 person in Perry County.
UPDATE: (8:45 a.m.) The Shelby County Health Department confirmed that there is now a fourth case of the coronavirus in Shelby County.
The patient did not have contact with the first three patients. They did have people who were sick from out of town stay at their home.
UPDATE: (7:20 a.m.) The Tennessee Department of Health has created remote screening sites for people who have symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The sites will be used for evaluation and screening in order to determine next steps.
UPDATE: (7:00 a.m.) Shelby County Schools has added 42 more locations where kids can receive free lunches during school closures.
All meals can be picked up between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. beginning March 23.
UPDATE: (6:00 a.m.) Gap Inc. said it is closing all of its stores across North America for two weeks, effective Thursday.
The San Francisco-based retail giant includes Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Janie &Jack and Intermix stores.
All of the company’s brands will remain available through its e-commerce channels, and affected store employees will still receive pay and benefits during the two-week period.
UPDATE (5:00 a.m.) Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare has updated its visitor policy, employee screening and other procedures in its adult facilities.
In order to protect patients, staff and visitors during the coronavirus outbreak, MLH will begin limiting visitors Thursday, according to a press release.
All visiting at adult facilities will be suspended until the transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is no longer a threat to the community.
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