Weekly Update

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I know I touched on this last week, but I’m going to say it again because it’s that important.

We must slow the rate of infection of this virus.

From coast to coast, new cases and hospitalizations are on a steep rise, and unfortunately, we’re seeing the same trends right here at home. As you can see in the chart below, six weeks ago our positivity rate was 5.6 percent. This past week, that number had risen to 14.2 percent. If you’re wondering, that’s a 154 percent increase over a relatively short amount of time, and a very alarming trend.


Additionally, the number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals continues to increase. As you can see in the chart below, six weeks ago we had 129 people with the virus hospitalized. On July 8th, that number had risen to 322, which is a 150 percent increase.

hospitals 7-9

Now, I’m not saying these things to scare you, but to stress the seriousness of the situation we are dealing with. This is real. The virus isn’t magically going away. It’s spreading, and it’s gaining speed in how it does.

But, we have the power to control it.

If everyone will wear a mask or facial covering and stay six feet apart, we will slow the spread. If everyone will wash and sanitize your hands, we will slow the spread. If everyone will get tested, we will slow the spread. And finally, if everyone stays home when you know you’re sick, we will slow the spread.

The choice is ours to pick which road we go down—more infections and more deaths or slowing the spread and saving lives.

Public Safety: Earlier this week, Director Rallings and I told you that 18 children have been violently taken from us this year (already more than last year)—14 were murdered, one was ruled a justifiable homicide, and three were accidental shootings. Of those 14 murders, suspects have been arrested or identified in six cases, and eight are still ongoing investigations. All of these children were under the age of 18, and the youngest was a nine-month-old baby.

We are better than this, and our community deserves better.

The loss of one life due to violence is too many—regardless of age. But the loss of a child taken before they’ve even had a chance at life, is almost unbearable. There are people out there that know who committed these terrible acts. They may live in our neighborhood, be a friend or relative, or just an acquaintance.

But, we need anyone with any knowledge about these incidents to step up, and do the right thing. We’re asking anyone who may know something about the deaths of these lost children to please call CrimeStoppers at 528-CASH.

Economic highlights: This week, the Regional Economic Alliance Advisory Board had our quarterly meeting to update us on our economic progress so far this year. There is no doubt that our nation is in a recession and that thousands of Memphians have lost their jobs or small businesses, but the recruitment of new businesses has been somewhat successful.

To date,16 projects with 1,446 new jobs have been announced this year. That represents $606.8 million in capital investment and $49.3 million in MWBE spend. I’m happy to say that compared to this time last year, that’s more jobs, more capital investment and more MWBE spend.

Additionally, Business Facilities magazine recently named Memphis the No. 1 region for water resources, and No. 2 as a global and metro logistics leader.

Prior to COVID-19, I talked about our city’s momentum daily with just about everyone I saw. All the points mentioned above demonstrate that while 2020 has been a very difficult year in many ways, there are still great things happening all around Memphis. We just have to remind ourselves of them.


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