June 17, 2014
The Memphis City Council approved the 2015 budget with massive cuts to health care insurance; it pushed a 24 percent hike in premiums for city employees and left retirees paying 100 percent of their premiums.
June 30, 2014
The officers started calling out sick on June 30 to show displeasure over the city's recent decisions to cut health care benefits for budgetary reasons.
July 5, 2014
Police were forced to call in Shelby County deputies to help man Beale Street, which is usually protected by Memphis police officers.
July 6, 2014
By Sunday, 308 officers had called out sick and police had an emergency meeting with the sheriff. Later in the day Sunday, the mayor and police director held a news conference acknowledging some type of demonstration is underway.
July 7, 2014
From June 30 to early Monday, 481 officers called out. As of Monday evening, 522 officers were not at work.
July 7, 2014
Director Toney Armstrong holds another news conference Monday to address "Blue Flu" concerns. He says public safety has not been compromised.
July 8, 2014
The "Blue Flu" numbers continue to rise. As of 6:30 p.m. (and since June 30) 555 officers are not on the street and have called out sick. As a note, unlike most jobs, when police call in sick, they stay out until they call in again to report for duty. However, the city still tightens on sick leave policy by sending out a memo.
July 9, 2014
557 officers have called out sick for the "Blue Flu." Rumors about the "Red Rash," which is the MFD's demonstration equivalent, emerge. MFD's director confirms 65 firefighters are out sick.
July 11, 2014
Numbers in "Blue Flu" start to fall as the total hits 471.
July 13, 2014
"Blue Flu" continues to fall, but numbers in "Red Rash" start to rise as 80 firefighters call out sick.
July 14, 2014
A week after nearly a quarter of the force is out sick, it appears that "Blue Flu" could be ending. The MPD public information officer reports 252 are out sick.
July 18, 2014
MPD announces the absences during the "Blue Flu" have cost the department $500,000. One hundred and forty-two officers are still out sick.