Screen Shot (Sergio Martínez-Beltrán / WPLN News)


The Tennessee Department of Education released on Wednesday its school outbreak dashboard, a day after missing a deadline to make the data public on Tuesday.

In a news release, Commissioner Penny Schwinn says the platform protects the health and privacy of students and school community members.

“This dashboard strikes an important balance in protecting student privacy while providing parents, educators, and community members with information they need to make the best possible decisions for their families,” Schwinn says.

Pixabay / Public Domain


As coronavirus infections spread across Shelby County, the strains they put on medical resources weren't just physical.

Even before the pandemic, more than 40 percent of American doctors experienced work-related, chronic stress that can deteriorate mental health. Burnout, as it's known, has become an even bigger concern as physicians cope with professional upheaval brought on by the virus.

National Recovery Month

Sep 9, 2020
kulli kittus on unsplash

September is National Recovery Month. The goal of Recovery Month is to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can help people with a mental or substance use disorder.

Watch: Shelby County Joint Task Force

Sep 8, 2020


Watch the Shelby County Joint Task Force briefing on COVID-19, from September 8th (starting at 12:00PM).

Click here to watch.

Justin Fox Burks

These bars are so sinfully good! 

As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March, schools across the nation shuttered to protect the health and well-being of students and teachers. Now, they're reopening in Shelby County for the fall semester, trying to balance students' educational needs with safety protocols. 


On this week's Behind the Headlines, Laura Faith Kebede of Chalkbeat Tennessee joins host Eric Barnes, The Memphis Flyer’s Toby Sells and The Daily Memphian’s Bill Dries to talk about how schools are navigating these new COVID realities. 


Guests also discuss the potential impacts of lifting Memphis Light, Gas and Water's moratorium on disconnecting power for customers with overdue bills.  To wrap up, the journalists talk police reform and the movement behind “defund the police.”



Tennessee is preparing a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan that could be ready for use within the next few months.

This week, officials the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told governors they hope to have a vaccine as soon as November. But details are still unclear. Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey told reporters Thursday she expects it to be a phased roll-out.

Katie Riordan / WKNO (File)

As municipal schools across the county and state wrestle with the looming specter of COVID, one district is not worried about students catching the virus in class: Shelby County Schools. In July, Superintendent Joris Ray decided to go entirely virtual, and while that has created other challenges for parents and teachers, political analyst Otis Sanford says the main demographic served by public schools in Memphis is also more susceptible to complications from COVID. Protecting students was the right choice. 

Housing Advocates Say Eviction Wave Averted, for Now

Sep 3, 2020
Public Domain


A new federal order has created a national freeze on evictions until the end of the year for most renters facing coronavirus hardships. Locally, housing advocates hope the measure pushes more landlords towards a county settlement fund to work out payment deals with tenants, but landlords say the new ban is one-sided without providing them any financial relief. 

Courtesy Maury County Schools / via Facebook


After weeks of pushback from parents, Tennessee will now make some data on school outbreaks public.

The Tennessee Department of Education says it will soon launch a new dashboard with district-submitted data.

The website is expected to go live on Tuesday, and it will have a map and search function of school districts and specific schools. The Education Department says it will be updated every Tuesday.