Restaurants, gyms, theaters ordered to close by county mayor, suburban leaders

By , Daily Memphian Updated: March 21, 2020 11:00 AM CT | Published: March 20, 2020 7:34 PM CT

Editor’s note: Due to the serious public health implications associated with COVID-19, The Daily Memphian is making our coronavirus coverage accessible to all readers — no subscription needed.

Restaurants throughout Shelby County, as well as many other facilities, are closing for dine-in business to keep in step with the city of Memphis. 

In most cases, the order became effective at the end of the day Friday, March 20.

Following Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s executive order Thursday, March 19, closing restaurant dining rooms, suburban mayors took his lead and ordered restaurants to serve food only through delivery or takeout methods as part of the effort to curb the coronavirus spread.

County Mayor Lee Harris has done the same in unincorporated parts of Shelby County.

Harris declares county state of emergency to pave way for federal aid

The suburbs issued their own emergency declarations Friday, the same day the Shelby County Health Department reported 30 confirmed cases locally.

The suburban executive orders. which are in effect for seven days but can be extended, allow the cities and towns to seek additional funding and allocate resources related to COVID-19.


Mayor Mike Wissman asked fitness centers to close in addition to restaurants. Health care and crisis facilities will remain open.

While grocery stores remain open, guests will not be allowed to eat inside.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department will enforce the order.


Mayor Keith McDonald declared a state of emergency and issued a civil emergency proclamation

Grocery stores and convenience stores selling food may remain open, but it should be eaten off site. Restaurant vendors and food suppliers may still supply food to restaurants.

Bartlett Police will enforce the measures.

McDonald and his wife are in cautionary quarantine after attending an out-of-town conference. Two of the attendees tested positive for COVID-19.


In addition to banning on-site food consumption, fitness centers and theaters are required to close. 

Collierville is filled with small and family-owned and operated restaurants. Before the proclamation, Collierville staff worked to call restaurants and advise them of the change.

Collierville Police will enforce the new measures.


By executive order, bars and restaurants must close their dining rooms but may still offer takeout and delivery. 

Grocery stores will remain open. Gyms and theaters will close.

The Germantown Police Department has been asked to help enforce the measure.

Germantown canceled some commission meetings, closed common areas of parks and closed municipal buildings to the public.


Lakeland fitness centers were to close Friday night and restaurants may offer takeout. 

“After working closely with the Shelby County mayor and municipal mayors, I have decided to declare a State of Emergency and have signed an Executive Order to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Mayor Mike Cunningham said on Facebook.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department will be in charge of enforcement. 


Millington asked all restaurants to close their dining rooms at midnight Friday. Fitness facilities may be open Saturday, but should close at the end of the day and not reopen while the order is in effect.

Millington Police will enforce the order.

Unincorporated Shelby County

A day after Harris declared the state of emergency for the county, he asked restaurants Friday to cease on-premise consumption in unincorporated Shelby County. He also asked gyms close. Both go into effect Sunday at 6 a.m.

“The support and collaboration among our municipal leadership is critical in protecting the public health and safety of the community,” Harris said in a release. “As with this decision to temporarily close restaurants, it is critical that our municipal leaders continue to work together.” 

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Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren is a lifelong resident of Shelby County and a graduate of the University of Memphis. She has worked for several local publications and covers the suburbs for The Daily Memphian.


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