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Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland advised people who are well

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland advised people who are well to wear a mask or a scarf when away from home at essential businesses, like a grocery store or restaurant for take-out, as well as while on walks. 

“But to be clear, even if you are wearing a scarf, stay 6 feet away from Memphis News others,” he said in a weekly video update published Friday.

This guidance is more comprehensive than guidance Memphis-area governments issued on Sunday, advising masks for people who are elderly or have medical problems, including a weak immune system.

Strickland said cases in Memphis are expected to peak in 2-4 weeks. The city is extending its safer at home order.

Strickland instructed anyone who is sick, including essential workers, to stay home. He encouraged people who are sick and need groceries to call on help from family members or friends.

45 percent reduction good but not good enough
After studying traffic patterns and other data, David Sweat, chief of epidemiology with the health department, said Shelby County residents have cut movement in the county by 45 percent. 

Sweat described the reduction as good "but not good enough."

The goal, Sweat said, is a 60 percent drop from average travel. Less than that will not sufficiently halt the spread of the coronavirus.

Health Officer Bruce Rudolph said as many as 20,000 could die in Shelby County if social-distancing measures are not taken seriously.

Shelby County Health Department reports one additional death
The Shelby County Health Department confirmed the number of reported COVID-19 cases reported by The City of Memphis Friday morning, 640 total, but added an additional fatality previously unreported. 

There are now eight reported COVID-19-related fatalities for Shelby County. 

"Welcome to Memphis" one-time grants open to hospitality industry workers
Hospitality industry workers are eligible to apply for a one-time grant of $300 from the Mid-South COVID-19 Regional Response Fund. 

Applications for the grants opened on Tuesday, and workers who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply through Welcome to Memphis' website until Monday, April 6. 

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Workers who apply in that time period will be entered into a lottery-style system, and recipients will start receiving their grants the week of April 6. 

Recipients will be notified through email, and the funding will be distributed through PayPal or Venmo.

Reported cases of COVID-19 increase by two from Thursday
According to the latest numbers released by the City of Memphis, there are 640 reported cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County as of Friday morning. 

The small increase of two additional COVID-19 cases can likely be attributed to a delay in hospital and health department reports, the city said. Update with Press Release Distribution Services In Memphis additional cases could be released at a later point on Friday. 

There have also been seven deaths from COVID-19 complications. 

For Tennessee, 2,845 cases of COVID-19 have been reported as of Thursday afternoon by the state health department. Thirty-two people have died across the state, and 220 previous COVID-19 patients have made a full recovery.  

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