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Staffing shortage: 450 City of Memphis employees out with COVID-19

The Memphis Police Department has been hit hardest, followed by Memphis Fire.

MEMPHIS, Tenn — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland reported Tuesday 450 city employees are sick with COVID-19.

Strickland reported the Memphis Police Department is currently hit the hardest with 237 employees out. Healthy officers are working overtime to make up for the staffing shortage and officers have been pulled from special assignments.

84 Memphis Fire Department employees are also out with COVID. To fully staff fire stations, vacation has been canceled for most employees. 

Another department hit hard is Memphis Parks. Community centers and senior centers are now operating at 50% capacity according to Strickland. 

"Our community centers and senior centers have now gone to 50% capacity, in part, because so many of our employees are sick and have COVID and we can't fully staff those facilities," said Strickland.

Free or open play has also been canceled. However, play can still occur if scheduled. 

"We don't want kids unmonitored, exposing other kids. So you have to play with a group you know and are familiar with and schedule a time," said Strickland.

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Strickland also said Memphis Animal Services has been hit, making it harder for workers to process animals and get them out for adoption.

Strickland also said the city wants to be transparent regarding the number of people out with COVID and its effects on the city. Strickland said to look for updates on social media.