Churches place new COVID-19 precautions, first look at 100 Main


Local artist Quantavious Worship sprays paint onto a canvas during the 901 Day Exposure event at the FedExForum courtyard on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.

Good morning Memphis where the city celebrated 901 Day on Wednesday with the annual — yet different due to COVID-19 — Exposure event on the plaza of  FedExForum.

But, first, with 8,808 active cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County as of Tuesday, the fight against COVID-19 in Shelby County continues on multiple fronts.

The Rev. Keith Norman, pastor of First Baptist Church – Broad and vice president of government relations and chief community relations officer at Baptist Memorial Health Care, is urging Black churches to go virtual once again and to restrict other social events, our Katherine Burgess reports.

Rev. Keith Norman poses for a portrait inside the sanctuary at First Baptist Church- Broad on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021. New precautions will be set in place following a surge of new infections due to the delta variant.

“I have been concerned all along that this variant is impacting the African American community,” Norman said. “We have to warn people to the vast number of deaths taking place so that people, if they’re not going to get the vaccination, will restrict their gathering.”

Next week, Southwest Tennessee Community College will move to virtual classes and operations, our Dima Amro reports.

The college announced Wednesday it will move online for five days following Labor Day to help lower the risk of COVID-19 infections associated with the holiday.

“This is a prudent measure designed to protect life and prevent a more serious disruption in our students’ academic progress,” said Tracy D. Hall, president of the college.

Harold Collins, director of Shelby County's office of reentry, hands a brochure about the COVID-19 vaccine to Karla Williford May 15, 2021.

And, finally, with emergency rooms filling, our Tonyaa Weathersbee says poor Memphians need to get the vaccine as choices might need to be made about who receives care.

She writes in her column for subscribers: “Yet the easiest thing for people to do, especially people who are more likely to rely on emergency services, is to take the COVID-19 shot.

Because, if they swell the deluge of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, and if that forces hospitals to resort to a system in which they have to use survivability as a gauge for prioritizing treatment, if they arrive at area emergency rooms too sick to recover from COVID-19, or other ailments, they may not get better.

Instead, many might wind up being sent home to die when a shot could have saved them.”

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A U.S. Marine walks with a family during evacuations in Kabul, Afghanistan last week. About 30 members of the Rhode Island Air National Guard will help provide housing and other assistance to Afghan refugees at a military installation in New Jersey.

In Memphis, Hagerty critiques Biden

U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty offered his usual critiques of President Joe Biden’s administration during a visit to Memphis Wednesday, our Sam Hardiman reports.

Hagerty raised alarm about inflation, illegal immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border and the pullout from Afghanistan, telling a crowd of Memphis businesspeople Wednesday that Biden had left behind a “cauldron of terror” in Afghanistan.

When asked, Hagerty declined to offer specifics about what he would do differently in Afghanistan, deferring to the Biden administration. “We can only have one foreign policy at a time. And my goal isn’t to try to compete against the executive branch right now.”

100 N. Main office building in downtown Memphis, Tenn., on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

The future of 100 Main

Two Shelby County Schools board members are part of a five-person Memphis development team vying to revitalize the 100 North Main building, the tallest among the downtown skyline, our Laura Testino reports

The request-for-proposal period on the building, owned by the Downtown Memphis Commission, closed Tuesday afternoon. 

The group wants to see the building as a “revitalized retail, office, hotel and multi-family apartment property, as well as build a new mixed-use project on the adjacent available parcels with parking,” according to its proposal to the Downtown Memphis Commission, obtained by The Commercial Appeal.

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