Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has authorized the police department to “enforce and close those businesses” that do not comply with a coronavirus emergency proclamation and executive order.
All bars, breweries and fitness centers have been ordered to close. Restaurants are no longer permitted to provide “on-premises consumption.”
“There will be more hard decisions to make,” the Democrat mayor said without elaborating. He declined to say if residents would be told to “shelter in place.”
The mayor said in a Friday press conference that he had spoken to more than 300 religious leaders and urged them to close their houses of worship.
“I requested to no longer have services at their churches, synagogues or mosques,” the mayor said. “We have to take unprecedented actions to stay away from each other.”
The mayor said as of Friday 10 people have coronavirus in Shelby County.
“Our local doctors told me we do have community transmission in Shelby County for the first time,” he told reporters.
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He warned that the crisis in Memphis is going to get worse before it gets better.
“I am very concerned about the thousands of people losing their jobs or having their businesses closed, but the health and well-being of Memphians overcomes those concerns,” he said.
That’s of little comfort to the thousands of people who are losing their jobs in the Mid-South.
“We’ve got to all come together to stay apart,” the mayor said.
And based on his remarks at Friday’s press conference – we may have to stay apart for a very long time.
“There will be a day hopefully sooner rather than later when we will be back to normal,” he said. “That’s months away.”
We’ve got to all come together to stay apart.