Officials concerned about a possible spike in COVID-19 cases following Memorial Day weekend

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Health officials are stressing the three day Memorial Day weekend is not a holiday from taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19.

They worry if too many people lower their guard, it could cause a delay in moving to Phase Three of the Back to Business plan.

"We have invested economic capital in the health of our citizens," Memphis City Councilman Dr. Jeff Warren told FOX13.

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Warren said people have to take seriously the recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19 during this three-day holiday.

He warned of the consequences of not wearing a mask in public, washing our hands, and maintaining social distancing.

"The health department is tracking numbers and the decision on how we are opening businesses, and how we are opening society, and are we going to do school all depends on our actions," said Warren.

The latest data from the Health Department Sunday shows Shelby County has more than 4300 hundred cases, 123 new cases, and 93 deaths.

Health officials don’t want a repeat from two weeks ago when there was a spike in newly reported cases.

"That was the Mother’s Day Spike,” Warren said. “Okay. So, people sort of slacked off on Mother’s Day and we are going to see these numbers down the road."

If the infection rate and hospitalizations increase, Warren, who is on the COVID-19 Task Force said health officials will have three options.

“One: we can say nothing and watch people get sick and die, which I don’t think is a very viable option. The second option is to move onto Phase Three and open more things up as the rate is going up. I don’t think that will happen. The other option is to stay the course in Phase Two and do more education.”

Warren said the health department will be able to crunch the data from this holiday weekend in about two weeks.

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