New COVID-19 cases surpass 10,500 in Shelby County during July

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dozens of deaths and thousands of new COVID-19 is just a snapshot of the pandemic’s human impact in Shelby County over the past month.

Dr. Scott Strome said more community spread and limited mask-wearing may be responsible for some of the high trends in July.

Have questions about the spread of coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

From July 1-31, the Shelby County Health Department reported 10,589 new COVID-19 cases, and 83 people lost their lives to the virus.

“What was more worrisome was the number of hospitalizations and the number of folks in the intensive care unit beds was also increasing,” said Strone, UTHSC College of Medicine executive dean.

The concern isn’t just limited to Shelby County.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation study shows about 60 percent of Americans think the worst is yet to come with the pandemic.

Related: Millions of Americans no longer protected by federal eviction ban now facing homelessness

Dr. Strome said things will improve if people continue wearing masks and social distancing.

“If we go back to where we were, we will by definition fulfill Einstein’s definition of insanity which is when you do the same experiment the same way, you’re going to get the same results so we have to be very careful, said Strome.

The health department also closed bars and added more restrictions for restaurants earlier this month.

Strome said it’ll take two to three weeks to see how well those measures are working but he said the community has to get the numbers down and soon.

“What we don’t want to have happen is we don’t want to not have the numbers down and then run into flu season that would be bad so now is our chance to really get those numbers down,” he said.