Doctor says focus should be on social distancing whether you are at a bar, restaurant or walking outside

WATCH: Doctor says focus should be on social distancing whether you are at a bar, restaurant or walking outside

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With governors in Arizona, Florida, and Texas taking action to close places, the question is will Tennessee be next?

The spread of COVID-19 is more widespread in those states but governors are clearly thinking of ways to stop the spread.

FOX13′s spoke to infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld with Baptist Hospital about what he sees as the next steps.

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On a Monday on Beale Street there are smaller crowds of people walking around, but on weekends it’s a different story.

Bars are allowing live music and are open until 1 in the morning every night. But other states have already decided to shut down bars to stop the spread of the virus.

Dr. Threlkeld said having bars open can still be safe if social distancing is taking place.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea to shut down. It’s bad for the economy. It’s bad for revenue. People need to get back to work,” Adam Mink said.

Others like Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer argue bars should close down to stop the spread.

There are currently over 9,000 cases of the virus in Shelby County.

“We are choosing to have fun, we are choosing to laugh, but we are doing this instead of focusing on the fact that we are in the middle of a global pandemic,” said Sawyer.

Dr. Threlkeld told FOX13 shutting down bars could help if the hospitals are overwhelmed.

“If you close down bars yes, that would have an impact on decreasing the number of people but they might just have parties at home,” he said.

He said overall the number one focus should be on social distancing whether you are at a bar, restaurant or walking outside.

“More important than whether or not a particular bar is open, it’s important to remember that people just need to realize it’s real and germ theory is real,” said Threlkeld.

Just last Wednesday, FOX13 reported that people under 35 are the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the area.

The health department says people between 25 to 34 represent more than 20 percent of active COVID-19 cases.

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