Weekly Update: The most powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19

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Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert R. Redfield said, “If everyone could wear a face covering over the next six weeks we could drive this [coronavirus] into the ground”. He also noted that wearing a mask is the most powerful weapon against the virus when combined with hand washing and social distancing.

I agree with most of what he said; however, I believe that you—that we—are the most powerful weapon in the fight against COVID-19. We have a mask ordinance, and as I noted yesterday in my daily update, we are enforcing it. But, we will only see the results of the ordinance if people and businesses continue to abide by it.

We will get through this, but it will take all of us working together to get the job done.

By the numbers: We continue to see increases in our positivity rate, hospitalizations and patients in the ICU. In April, the average positivity rate for first two weeks of that month was 11 percent, and we averaged around 104 patients per day in our hospitals. Moving into May, our positivity rate dropped the first two weeks as we began the implementation of our Safer at Home orders to 5.2 percent while the average number of patients in our hospitals rose slightly to 119. In the first two weeks of June, the positivity rate jumped back up to 9.3 percent and hospitalizations rose to 172 per day. The first two weeks of July have proven to be the worst yet with an average positivity rate of 14.7 percent and average of 311 patients hospitalized.

To see more details, view the data charts below.





HOPE Inside: Roughly a year ago, we started a partnership with Operation HOPE to bring HOPE Inside to the City of Memphis. HOPE Inside the Workplace delivers credit and money management counseling services to our City of Memphis employees through our wellness program.

Since that time, 676 employees have participated in the program working on skills that will increase savings; decrease debt, increase credit score, home ownership and entrepreneurship. Once an employee attends a workshop they begin 1:1 coaching sessions with a financial coach to increase their financial stability. The average increase in credit score for those participating in our program is around 30 points, which can be a gamechanger in so many aspects our daily lives.

Moving forward, we're excited to have more employees go through the program to improve their financial literacy, and more importantly, make their lives and their families lives better for the future.

The rule and not the exception: Yesterday, Director Rallings received a call from a very thankful grandmother, and I thought it was more than fitting to share with you.

This sweet lady called to thank the department and to let the Director know that this officer saved her grandson’s life by providing first aid after he had been shot in the neck. Because of this officer’s actions, the young man’s three children still have their father and a grandmother still has her grandson. The officer and this young man still stay in touch with one another regularly. This was the second victim this officer has saved during his time with MPD.

I wanted to tell this story because far too often—you don’t hear them. And quite honestly, they are the rule and not the exception.

I’ve said this before, but the men and women of your Memphis Police Department are some of the best in the country. They love their city and the people they serve every single day. While there is always room for more training and improved policies, I am very thankful for the difficult work our officers perform.

Have a great weekend!


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