MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis City Council will meet on Monday to discuss a new resolution supporting the Shelby County Health Department issuing a new Safer at Home Order.
According to the committee meeting schedule released Friday, the resolution that will be discussed during the 10:00 a.m. Executive Session is being sponsored by Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren.
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“It’s like life versus money, where do you say your values lie?” said Warren.
The previous Safer at Home Order was issued on March 24 and ran through June 1.
It requires people to work from home unless considered essential like doctors, first responders and grocery store workers.
The order also allows essential businesses like gas stations, banks and grocery stores to stay open while others are shut down.
Warren believed the new directive will be similar but modified.
“You can do nothing and throw your hands up and say there is nothing we can do, we gotta let people die or you can do what you can and if we lower this and instead of having 1000 people die have 600 people die that’s 400 people we saved,” said Warren.
If the health department decides to put safer at home restrictions in place, it will go against its own tripwires which trigger certain restrictions.
Right now, we only meet two out of the four criteria.
One is a seven-day case average of more than 750 but right now we average 869 cases.
The second is new cases have to increase by more than 40-percent over a two-week span.
We doubled that with a new case increase of 88-percent.
The two triggers not reached yet are positivity rates and how quickly it’s spread from person to person.
Opponents argue people will continue to gather, even if businesses shut down.
“I think they’ll do it, there is like the parties and the house parties and people are going to gather because we are social animals,” said Memphian Lisa McLean.
Although the health department’s next move is unclear, Warren believes we need to do something to relieve hospitals and save lives.
“As this gets worse, people are wanting direction and we are trying to give them direction that lets them know this is not going to change, again we gotta do something different now,” said Dr. Warren.
So far 4 out of 13 councilmembers support returning to the safer at home order. FOX13 hasn’t heard back from the others.
The Shelby County Commissioners will also discuss supporting a similar resolution during their Monday meeting.
While specific details of this potential new order have not been released, the previous order said that:
- Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
- Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
- Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
- Care for or support a friend or family member
- Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others.
- Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
- Help someone to get necessary supplies
- Receive deliveries from any business which delivers
You should not:
- Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
- Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
- Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
- Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.
FOX13 asked the Shelby County Health Department for information on the potential new order. They said that there is no word of a new health directive at this time.
The following is is the full resolution that will be discussed Monday:
Resolution Supporting the Shelby County Health Department Issuing a Safer at Home Order
WHEREAS, the Memphis City Council recognizes that the Corona Virus 2019 (“COVID-19”) has drastically changed how we all interact with others in our community, city, state, country, and world; and
WHEREAS, although we have all changed our interactions due to COVID-19, the number of cases in Shelby County continue to rise exponentially; and
WHEREAS, due to Memphis’s and Shelby County’s Mask Ordinance and aggressive contact tracing and testing protocols, Shelby County has the slowest COVID-19 infection rate in Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, even with the slow rate of infection, as of December 17, 2020, the Shelby County Health Department has confirmed 59,387 cases of COVID-19, with 625 confirmed on December 17th; and
WHEREAS, 783 people have lost their battle with COVID-19 in Shelby County; and
WHEREAS, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases our local hospitals are overwhelmed and at critical levels; and
WHEREAS, although only 5% of acute care and 3% of intensive care unit beds remain open, the availability of the overflow hospital at the former Commercial Appeal building is in flux; and
WHEREAS, with 6,049 active cases and our hospitals at around 97% occupancy, there is a dire need for relief.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Memphis City Council supports the Shelby County Health Department issuing a Safer at Home Order.
Sponsor: Dr. Jeff Warren
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