[This documented is updated daily. Last updated: March 31, 2020 | 11:30 p.m.]
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Times are uncertain and information is moving fast amid the spread of COVID-19. High Ground has put together this resource guide as a way for Memphians to find local support if they need it and provide local support if they’re able.
The guide is divided into sections. Scroll to find the one you need:
- Reliable sources for information
- Local information and updates
- Important contacts
- Current social distancing requirements
- Ways to give locally
- Resources for food
- Resources for workers and businesses
- Resources for housing and utilities
- Resources for parents
- Stay healthy, stay busy
If you know of a resource we’ve missed or something that needs to be updated, please let us know. Message us on any social media platform or email [email protected]
1. Reliable Sources for Information:
2. LOCAL Information and Updates:
Governor Bill Lee has requested all TN schools remain closed through April 24. Shelby County Schools are now closed "indefinitely."
Free MATA Trips:
Now through April 30, the Memphis Area Transit Authority is offering free rides on all MATA vehicles. Only 10 riders will be allowed on a fixed bus route or trolley, sitting every other row. Only two riders are allowed on MATAplus vehicles, which will now limit rides exclusively to medical-related destinations or to purchase food or pick it up from a nonprofit.
Courts and Police:
Latest updates from Shelby County courts can be found here
. All MPD precincts are closed except for emergencies. Call 901-545-2677 for non-emergency police assistance and 911 for emergencies. Tickets can be paid here
or call 901-636-3400. For red light camera tickets click here
or call 1-866-790-4111.
Parks and Public Spaces:
Vehicle traffic in and around Memphis parks will now be limited by street closures
. Parks will by monitored by park employees and police to enforcing social distancing. Parks are still open for use by nearby neighbors who can access them by foot. All public sports courts and fields, libraries, community centers and golf courses are closed.
3. Important Contacts
Memphis Public Libraries' LINC 2-1-1 is operating Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. LINC has the most comprehensive database of human service resources in the area. Access LINC here
or dial 2-1-1 on any phone.
Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line:
1-877-857-2954, daily 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
1-800-273-8255 or live chat online
Shelby County COVID-19 Testing:
Call your physician or the Shelby County Health Department at 1-833-943-1658 to be screened for testing eligibility. Text "COVID" to 901-203-5526 to be screened for testing at the Tiger Lane drive-thru testing site.
4. Current Social Distancing Requirements:Shelter in Place
All seven Shelby County municipalities, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, the Shelby County Health Department, and Tennessee Governor Bill Lee have issued shelter in place orders for their residents.
Residents are to stay in their homes unless performing an essential task or service. Residents can still spend time outdoors for health and recreational purposes as long as they maintain a minimum of six feet between themselves and people who are not members of their household. Read the City of Memphis order and list of essential tasks and services here.
Several municipalities surrounding Shelby County have taken similar steps, including Southaven and Olive Branch, Mississippi.
5. WAYS TO GIVE locally:Step up for Memphis. Donate to these local service providers who are on the front lines of supporting Memphians hit hardest by the pandemic.
Shop with Amazon Smile
to make a free-to-you donation to the local charity of your choice.
6. RESOURCES FOR Food:Emergency Food Relief
Children under 18 can receive a free meal between 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. Click here for a list of pickup locations.
This is a joint effort between the YMCA, City of Memphis, Redwing Group, Southwest Tennessee Community College, FeedWells, and the Mid-South Food Bank.
For High-Risk Memphians:
Several grocers and retailers have announced safer shopping hours for seniors and others in high-risk categories, including Fresh Market, Kroger,
Target, and Walmart. Kroger is reserving 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Click the links, check retailers’ websites, or call specific store locations to confirm participation.
For Seniors and Adults with Disabilities:
Aging Commission of the Mid-South offers food and other assistance to those who qualify. Call 901-222-4111.
Get it To-Go or Delivered:
Many restaurants are offering delivery and to-go. These businesses are critical to our local economy. You can even order beer and cocktails for takeout and delivery!
Don’t hoard! Stores are restocking regularly. Plan carefully to limit trips to the store, go outside of peak hours, stay a minimum of 6 feet from other people, don't touch anything you don’t intend to purchase. Take hand sanitizer and use it frequently. Thank the store staff members for serving on the front lines. Wash your hands as soon as you return home and isolate or wash your clothes immediate.
7. RESOURCES FOR WORKERS & BUSINESSES:Resources for Businesses:
The Salvation Army of Memphis & the Mid-South is paying local restaurants to provide daily boxed meals. Local restaurant owners who want to participate should contact Eric Monroe at [email protected]
Resources for Workers:
TN Unemployment Assistance:
Starting March 26, cash assistance will be available for Tennesseans unemployed by COVID-19. If you were employed as of March 11 but have since lost at least 50% of your income, you're eligible. Households can receive $500 to $1,000. Two months of assistance are available. Click here for info or to apply
TN Launches Talent Exchange:
The Tennessee Talent Exchange pairs Tennessee workers who've been laid off with employers in grocery, retail, and logistics industries who need to hire more staff immediately. Click here to apply
8. RESOURCES For Housing & Utilities:
The Community Services Agency is offering up to $605 in utility assistance and $1000 in rent assistance to those eligible. Click here
for more information or call 901-222-4200.
SCS Student Learning Guide:
9. RESOURCES For Parents:
or pick one up in person. Location list is here.
The school district is hosting conference calls to help parents navigate online learning. Join online
or call 302-364-6761 and use PIN: 994 222 208#
Memphis PBS television station WKNO 10.1 is providing in-home educational instruction. K-5 instruction will air weekdays at 12 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. Middle and high school sessions begin at 2 p.m. on alternating days.
Families with young children may be eligible for learning assistance and other programs. Click here
for more information and to apply.
Children under 18 can get a daily meal free. Location list is here
WiFi & Digital Device Assistance:
SchoolSeed Foundation and SCS are launching a relief fund to provide WiFi access to low-income families without service and digital devices for students without existing in-home devices. Implementation has not begun but watch for updates here
Just a Few Tips for Staying Healthy
10. Stay Healthy, Stay Busy:
Just a Few Options to Keep Busy:
- Follow all CDC guidelines to prevent exposure to and spread of COVID-19
- Maintain basic best practices around hygiene, exercise, sleep and diet
- Read this guide to productivity, physical, and mental health while working from home
- Read the CDC’s guide to coping, stress, and managing mental health
- Go outside. Walk, ride a bike, sit in the sun, listen to the rain, play fetch, play catch. Just keep a minimum of 6-10 feet between yourself and anyone not in your household.
- Health officials are urging people to avoid hospitals unless you have a life-threatening emergency. If you have non-life-threatening symptoms of any illness or injury, call your primary care doctor first.
- Join a virtual exercise and coaching sessions, including soccer skills training, with local org Play Where You Stay. Join via Facebook here and Instagram here.
- Memphis' Explore Bike Share is offering free bike use. Take a ride on EBS through April 19.
- Read this guide to maintaining productivity and health while working from home
- List of Memphis-based virtual events and experiences
- Play Nintendo Switch with other Memphians
- Virtually visit national and international museums, zoos, and aquariums
- Take in a Frida Kahlo exhibit
- Make a call list and reach out to family, friends, and neighbors
- Go outside. Walk, ride a bike, sit in the sun, listen to the rain, play fetch, play catch.
- Write down that list of small projects you've been meaning to get to and knock a few off
- Get creative with art, crafts, writing, singing, dancing, etc. Want to share your creativity with the world? Decorate signs with positive messages. Place in windows or yard to brighten someone's day. Pro tip: use them to thank your mail carrier and sanitation workers.
- Make it "Bearable." Place stuffed bears in street-facing windows to bring a little joy during a time of crisis.