City & County Release A Back-to-Business Framework for Memphis & Shelby County

Memphis—The City of Memphis, Shelby County Government, and the six suburban municipalities today announced a plan to get Shelby County residents safely back-to- business.

“I’ve said from the beginning, that all our decisions are based on data and recommendations from medical experts,” Mayor Jim Strickland said. “This is no different. Our social distancing efforts and Safer at Home Order have shown promise. They have put us in a position to consider slowly and methodically opening up our city to get back to business. Many hours of hard work went into this plan, and the spirit of collaboration has been truly amazing to witness. I want to thank the other mayors and everyone involved for making this happen.”

While the community should remain vigilant about adhering to social distancing guidelines and hygiene practices, local governments felt it was time to safely start introducing measures that alleviate some burdens on the economy — while also balancing the need to protect our citizens. A phased approach, informed by data and constantly monitored and adjusted, will be used to get us safely back-to-business. The Safer at Home Order is still in effect, and this phased-in approach is simply a part of it. The approach will be informed by indicators (measurements of the status of the pandemic) and conditions (measurements of our capacity to deal with the pandemic), with policies and implemented in three separate phases.

Full Back-to-Business Framework Grid:


“Over the past several weeks, the municipal mayors and leadership from the Joint COVID-19 Task Force have consulted with the health department and local healthcare professionals to identify steps to get residents back to work safely. We’ve worked collaboratively and used data to drive decisions about when and how to restart our economy. After many, many work sessions, we developed a phased reopening approach. This approach is not based on a specific date. Instead, phased reopening is based on continued monitoring of data, and continued emphasis on social distancing.”  Mayor Lee Harris

“We are in unprecedented times, and many sacrifices have been made by all, but the collaboration and communication by the task force has been instrumental to get us to the point we are today. As we move forward, it is still up to us as individuals to take our own precautions, and I feel we have a good plan for all of our communities.” -Mayor Mike Wissman, City of Arlington

“Each of the 8 decision makers in Shelby County has given much thought and discussion into how we move forward. Since the Governor left us out of his business plan, because we have our own health department, we have to come up with a plan that we can get approval for from our health department. They are reviewing the trend on a daily basis. We must all do our part to social distance and wear cloth mask. We must not let our guard down so we can get back to business sooner rather than later. -Mayor Keith McDonald, City of Bartlett

“Thank you to all the residents, businesses, healthcare professionals, and municipalities in Shelby County taking the steps needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 infections. Our communities’ encouraging, unified approach to work together continues as we safely get back to business. ” Mayor Stan Joyner, Town of Collierville

“I am sure I speak for all of my colleagues when I say thank you to our residents for their cooperation. We are committed to a responsible approach for getting back to business and we are thrilled that the process is taking a county-wide approach.”  -Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo

“As the Mayor of Lakeland, I would like to thank all Shelby County Leadership, Mayor Harris, and all Municipal Mayors for working collaboratively during this pandemic and now building our plans for reopening. I would like to thank the Shelby County Health Department for their continued guidance. Our Lakeland City Staff have done an incredible job of maintaining city services during this time and I appreciate each and every one of them. I would also like to thank our citizens for their patience and cooperation through all of this.” -Mayor Mike Cunningham, City of Lakeland

“We spent many hours working together over the last several weeks crafting these plans to get people back to work safely. I want to thank our employees for continuing to provide service to our constituents and our citizens for being patient during these trying times. We look forward to working with the other municipalities across our county to implement this plan and getting our economy going again. We will continue to follow state guidance and health directives from the Shelby County Health Department to achieve a safe and measured approach to this matrix.” Mayor Terry Jones, City of Millington

To see the full plan guidelines, visit

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