Data shows increase in number of active COVID-19 cases in Shelby County, officials say

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials gave an update Thursday on COVID-19 data and vaccinations in the area.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again in Shelby County. The nearly 1,200 active cases is a 34 percent increase from just two weeks ago. The rolling seven-day case average is 110 as of Nov. 17.

The Shelby County Health Department says there is a solution to stopping cases, deaths, and hospitalizations from rising: the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I would worry more about my child or any child getting COVID and us not knowing the long-term consequences of them being infected with COVID,” said Shelby Health County Director Michelle Taylor.

Taylor says the focus remains on getting children vaccinated.

Taylor says there are 200 more active cases of COVID in the county than a week ago.

“And that is an increase from 924 this past week.”

The number of active pediatric cases has jumped 24 percent in one week.

But Dr. Taylor says there are multiple opportunities for everyone to receive the vaccine now.

She says more than 1,000 children will get the vaccine this weekend in collaboration with Shelby County Schools.

Meanwhile, five municipal school districts in the county have made masks at school optional, despite a federal court order to continue the county’s school mask mandate.

As lawsuits over a new Tennessee law banning mandates continue, Taylor says the county is trying to see what type of control it has, but it’s still up in the air.

“We are in continued talks with the Tennessee Department of Health to make sure that we have clarity on what authority we do have and what we don’t have,” She said.

For the time being, Taylor says everyone should do their part to make sure we can see an end to this pandemic moving forward.

“That concern is lessened somewhat because we know a good percentage of the people in Shelby County right now either have vaccination immunity or natural immunity,” Said Taylor.

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SCHD Director Michelle Taylor said Shelby County continues to have lower active case rates than every other metro area except Hamilton County.

The number of active cases has increased in every age group in Shelby County except those aged 85 and over.

In children, the active case rate is highest in kids aged 5 to 11, Taylor said.

Areas in the northeast have the highest COVID-19 case rates, data shows.

More than 1 million people in Shelby County have now received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The goal is to increase the number of first and second doses in order to reach the county’s vaccination goal.

46.6% of the population is fully vaccinated, Taylor said.

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The goal is to have at least 70 percent of Shelby County residents fully vaccinated.

The health department offers the pediatric Pfizer vaccine for kids ages 5-11 at its immunization clinic, 814 Jefferson Ave.

The clinic is open M-F from 8 to 4:30, with extended hours several evenings per week, Taylor said.

To learn more about vaccines and COVID-19 information in Shelby County, visit shelby.community.

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