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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland on Monday ordered all non-essential businesses to close and residents to stay at home for the next two weeks.

“As you are well aware now, we are in serious, unprecedented times which call for decisive actions to keep everyone safe,” Strickland said.

Shelby County, along with suburban cities, are under similar orders.

The Safer at Home Executive Order will go into effect on Tuesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Residents will be required to stay at home unless deemed as having an essential job or for essential needs (Click here or see below).

Here’s what you CAN DO:

  • Go to the grocery store, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy
  • Go to medical appointments
  • Go pick up food from restaurants
  • Care for other friends/family members
  • Take a walk/go out in nature
  • Walk your pets
  • Take pets to veterinarian
  • Help others to get necessary supplies
  • Received deliveries from any business which delivers


  • Go to work unless you are providing an essential services
  • Visit family/friends if it is not urgent
  • Maintain less than six feet of space between you and another person
  • Visit loved ones in a hospital, nursing home or skilled nursing facility

Essential Services

  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • dental services
  • nursing homes or residential health care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers
  • grocery stores, (including stores that sale non-grocery items like Family Dollar, Dollar General, Wal-Mart)
  • Auto repair shops
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores
  • Retail To-Go: Stores that will exclusively deliver goods to customers curb-side. 
  • Cell phone and electronic store
  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services (FedEX, UPS)
  • laundromats
  • home or building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • pest control
  • Property management company
  • skilled trades such as electricians, HVAC, and plumbers
  • commercial and residential construction
  • planning, engineering, design firms
  • Food banks
  • Homeless shelters
  • Banks
  • Newspaper/media
  • Uber
  • Lyft
  • MATA
  • Blood banks
  • Airports
  • food processing, manufacturing agents
  • chemical plants
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms

Non-essential Services

  • Personal appearance businesses (like hair salons, eyelash salons, barber shop, tattoo shop, body piercing shop)
  • Retail with no exclusive delivery or curb-side pick-up
  • Entertainment and recreation facilities (bowling alleys, trampoline parks)
  • Indoor rock climbing
  • Craft Business (ex.  seize the clay)
  • Gyms, including yoga, barre and spin facilities
  • Concert venues (ex. Minglewood)
  • Theaters (ex. Playhouse on the Square, Hatiloo)
  • Movie theaters
  • Shopping malls
  • Golf courses
  • Sporting event venues
  • Skating rink
  • Dance Schools

Strickland issued the emergency declaration on March 17, just as Shelby County health officials confirmed the third case of coronavirus in the county. On Monday, the county confirmed its 84th case.

“This declaration allows the City and its departments and agencies to seek any and all necessary federal and state funding to facilitate the response to the Emergency. Additionally, all required procedures and formalities as to procurements on behalf of the City are hereby suspended for purchased of equipment, materials, supplies and services needed for Emergency management purposes,” the mayor said in the declaration.