Friday update

The COVID-19 task force has brought back their Thursday press conferences in response to the rising number of cases in Shelby County. I was caught off-guard and didn’t bring my earphones to work yesterday, so I will have to rely on WREG’s recap.

The big takeaway by David Sweat, the health department’s assistant director, is that of those testing positive, 78% were symptomatic, and of those, 63% were still engaging in social activities. They were going to the grocery store, going to sporting events, and even inviting people over to their homes. So, the biggest problem is people not taking COVID seriously. Those with symptoms need to go get tested and otherwise stay home.

Manufacturing sites, schools, and health care settings were said to be the environments in which clusters of COVID were most common. I also want to highlight this tweet by Local 24’s Jeni DiPrizio:

So to the social media “health experts” out there barking “close the bars!” as a knee-jerk reaction to the rising case numbers, there isn’t proof that such a move would be effective. Back in July, the health department didn’t have targeted local evidence and had to rely largely on what other cities are doing. Now they do have it and can make laser-focused moves, as health department director Dr. Haushalter is fond of saying.

Speaking of restaurants and bars, there is a marketing agency, ROI on Tap, that is focusing on helping those businesses bring in extra revenue to help them through the pandemic. They have solutions to get pre-pandemic customers back in the door and spending more per visit.

Local 24 has a list of the current Shelby County COVID clusters.

Those of you who walk/jog Downtown with your dogs, make sure you keep them on a leash. There was a report of an off-leash pit bull, brown and white or gray and white in color, 35-40 pounds, attacking a service dog on the Mud Island river walk yesterday. The owner ran away. A follow-up post indicated that there are other reports matching the same description of dog and owner on the island. Be careful out there!

And before people start emailing me: Yes, I understand it’s just as likely to happen with any other breed. It’s not that the breed is vicious, it’s that the owner is a piece of shit.

The Downtown Memphis Commission is accepting proposals for development of the Shopper’s Garage at 85 N. Front and the Downtown Memphis Mobility Center to be built on the parking lot north of the Orpheum.

A new ride-share service will offer convenient rides to residents of Downtown, the Medical Center district, and the New Chicago neighborhood. It’s said to be halfway between riding the bus and a Lyft/Uber in terms of both expense and convenience. You order the ride via an app, then walk to a bus stop not more than a few blocks away. You’re then dropped off a few blocks from your destination, where you pay by credit or debit card. The service will operate 7 AM to 8 PM Monday-Friday.

Looking at the map of service, I want to point out two things to my fellow Downtown residents:

  1. The eastern boundary appears to be Cleveland, between North Parkway and Peabody Avenue. That means Crosstown Concourse is within reach, as is the Kroger at Poplar and Cleveland. Bhan Thai on Peabody would fall within range as well.
  2. The service covers Second Street as far north as Mud Island Drive. That means that Grind City Brewing Co. is within reach. Downtowners who don’t want to drive there, don’t want to walk there, and don’t want the expense of a Lyft to get there now have another option.

Boxlot at 607 Monroe hosts the first of three Charlie Brown drive-in movies, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, tonight at 6:30. $40 per car gets your family a guaranteed parking spot (only 25 available), a bucket of concession-style snacks (you can bring your own snacks too if you want), and a craft related to the movie. You also get coupons for other Edge District businesses.

Big Cypress Lodge at Bass Pro at the Pyramid made the USA Today yesterday, in its list of unique lodging spots that offer COVID-weary travelers social-distanced splendor.

Holiday lights will light up South Main this evening through the end of the year. The Downtown Memphis Commission funded the lights, using money not possible to spend on events this year due to COVID-19.

Beware of a text scam going around saying someone logged into your Amazon account from other states. They want you to click on the link and install malware on your phone.

Nightmare on Beale Street, part 1 happens tonight at Tin Roof. Here are the details:

Celebrate Halloween Eve with DJ Epic and live music by Semi-Average Joe and Twin Soul. $5 Fireball shots, $3 PBR, and $4 Bud Light Seltzers. Limited VIP tables available so secure your spot!

Elmwood Cemetery hosts A Virtual Visit with Edgar Allan Poe tonight at 7.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.