MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Those not battling the virus may be seeing the effect in other ways from how you get around town to how long trash sits in front of your home.
We are getting a better idea of how COVID is affecting the city services many rely on.
MATA sent out an alert for passengers: expect longer than usual waits for travel. It is even asking those using MATA plus to temporarily limit travel requests to only necessary trips.
The bus service said because of COVID exposures, they just don’t have enough staff to work.
They aren’t the only ones.
“We have probably hundreds of people off work right now that have COVID,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.
Mayor Strickland spoke with WREG on Live at 9 Wednesday and the city of Memphis is feeling the impact too.
“For instance, our Fire Department Fire Chief had to cancel vacations this month for her firefighters. So that every station could be fully manned with personnel,” Mayor Strickland said.
We asked city leaders, what can to expect. For garbage pick-up, the trash in some areas of town may be sitting a little longer because workers are out sick.
“We are asking folks for a little patience, Doug McGowen said, the City of Memphis Chief Operating Officer. “Present your can to the curb and if it is not collected on your day, we will be try to be back the very next day to pick that up, but we will come by and get it. We have not forgotten about you.”
We asked about access to community centers and parks.
“All of our community centers are open, but some of the programming you may be used to where we had open plans where you could just show up as a group and play, we are having to restrict that to about 50 percent capacity,” McGowen told said. “We ask that you go to the Memphis Parks website to sign up, so we know we have staff there to help you.”
While libraries are still open, group meetings have been suspended until the city has sufficient staffing.
The city’s 311 services, where you call to report problems has been affected as well. They usually have 12 to 13 people staffing phones. Now, the city said they were down to 5 people this week because of COVID.