Coronavirus Update for Monday, March 23

March 23, 2020
Press Release

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update for Monday, March 23  


In an effort to keep TN-09 constituents up to date on the coronavirus situation, I will share updates with important information.  I hope you’ll take some time to look at this information.  As always, if you need to reach my office please call 901-544-4131 for the Memphis office and 202-225-3265 for the D.C. office. Updates will be posted on my websitewww.Cohen.House.Gov.   


Tennessee has 505 cases of coronavirus infection, including 66 in Shelby County. At least 81 people in Shelby County are being monitored.  


Food Distribution Plan Re-Established 


On Friday, Shelby County Schools announced that the food distribution planned to begin this week was being suspended due to a nutrition worker testing positive for the coronavirus. Over the weekend, the YMCA of Memphis and the Mid-South, including partners like the City of Memphis, The Redwing Group, Southwest Community College, FeedWells, and the Mid-South Food Bank stepped up and will be providing free meals. Here is a list of distribution sites and hours:  


The Memphis Alcohol Commission voted Saturday to allow restaurants to sell beer and wine for delivery and takeout. On Sunday, Governor Bill Lee issued an executive order allowing beer and wine sales statewide.  With in-house dining banned during the coronavirus outbreak, one way you can help keep these businesses stay afloat, and their employees working, is to consider ordering take-out. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on Covid-19 can be found at The CDC issued guidance this week that gatherings of 50 or more people should be postponed or canceled for the next eight weeks.   

Please follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at    


That guidance includes:    

•    Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds   

•    If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer that is 60 percent alcohol    

•    Put distance between yourself and other people   

•    Avoid physical contact with other people   

•    Stay home if you’re sick or have been exposed to someone who is sick    

•    Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough     

•    Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces    


The Shelby County Health Department’s latest updates on the Coronavirus outbreak can be found at  


The Health Department’s Covid-19 Call Center can be reached at 833-943-1658.  


All schools and district offices of Shelby County Schools are closed through April 6 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Learning Guides and online resources during this period can be found here:  


According to its website: The Parent Welcome Center can still be reached by phone during regular business hours at (901) 416-5300. The Office of Student Records can be reached at (901) 416-5830. All other in-person and phone support will not be available during the closure.  


The Internal Revenue Service last week announced it has moved the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15.  


The U.S. Education Department announced last week that it will allow student loan borrowers to suspend payments for 60 days without penalty.   


Applying for Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans   

The Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75 percent. For detailed information about how to receive support,  please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail