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Memphis Mayor confirms MPD employee tested positive for COVID-19

Mayor Jim Strickland said Friday morning there will be a lot of difficult decisions ahead, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland confirmed Friday morning during a news conference, a Memphis Police Department employee has tested positive for COVID-19, but, he wouldn't say which precinct the employee works in.

“I don’t know that info and I couldn’t tell you if I did, he said.

The MPD employee is one of ten people who are now confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County.  Thursday, Local 24 News also learned that an employee of the Lowe's store on N. Perkins tested positive for COVID-19.  That employee was last at work on March 9.

Those figures will probably change when the Shelby County Health Department holds their two o’clock news conference.

Mayor Strickland also discussed the civil emergency which he declared Thursday afternoon, saying as of 12 midnight Friday, all dine-in restaurants and bars In Memphis were shut down.  The Mayor says, they can still do take out and delivery.

The Mayor says he is studying whether to shut down hair salons and nail parlors.

“We have to, as a community, slow down the virus,” Strickland said.

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Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.