COVID-19 case discovered at Mid-South Food Bank

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Mid-South Food Bank is working with the Mid-South COVID-19 Task Force to provide food for the community even though the organization reported its first COVID-19 case.

Staff at the food bank said they were preparing for the worst before a staff member left last week with COVID-19 like symptoms.

“We knew eventually we were gonna get a positive,” President Cathy Pope said. “I mean, we’ve had a great free month run of no COVID-19 in this building… But we do feel like we were a little bit prepared.”

The food bank received the information about the case Monday morning and immediately sent all the people who came in contact patient home.

Pope says she feels the bank is well-equipped to handle the safety and staffing challenges that may lie ahead.

“It’s been really great for us to be on top of that information for what we can do to keep our staff safe and the public safe when we’re out working on mobile pantries,” Pope said.

“We need to take these warning signs and do the best we can. And we know what to do. We just need to do it better,” Dr. Stephen Threlkeld said.

With children home from school and parents working from home, the Mid-South Food Bank distributed almost six million pounds of food across the month of May, which is more than four times their pre-pandemic average.

Now, the food bank is figuring out how to move forward through its first positive case.

“We’re making arrangements now to figure out who can do what job and we’ll get the food out of the community just live we’ve been doing,” Pope said.

The food bank says the 12 people who were sent home have not shown symptoms of the virus but are awaiting test results.

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