Shelby County reaches over 500 COVID-19 deaths

Shelby County reaches over 500 COVID-19 deaths
527 deaths due to COVID-19 have now been reported in Shelby County. (NCD)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County reached another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic Friday.

The health department’s latest numbers show more than 500 people have lost their lives to COVID-19.

As of today, 527 people have died from the virus.

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The SCHD is reporting 175 new cases in the last 24 hours.


Gov. Bill Lee announced the first case of coronavirus had been detected in Tennessee on March 5.

An adult male from Williamson County who had traveled out-of-state was the first known case in the state.

Just three days later on March 8, the first case was reported in Memphis.

That patient had also traveled out of state. The health department said they did not believe there was a risk for the public at large.

One week after the first case was reported in Tennessee, on March 12 the state entered a state of emergency.

Gov. Lee declared a state of emergency granting the state special powers to move resources around to directly deal with the coronavirus. The declaration gave the state access to additional federal funding. Under the declaration, the governor can restrict travel or evacuate people to prevent the spread of the disease.

That same day, Shelby County Schools superintendent Joris Ray announced classes would be canceled beginning the next day. Ray originally intended schools to reopen March 30, extending spring break by one week.

The University of Memphis also announced the transition to remote learning for the rest of the spring semester, set to begin March 23.

On March 20, Nashville’s Metro Public Health Department officials notified the public of the first reported COVID-19 death of a Davidson County resident, which marked the first fatality in the state. Officials said the individual was a 73-year old man with underlying health conditions who died due to complications from the coronavirus.

On March 23, Memphis mayor Jim Strickland issued a ‘safer at home’ order requiring Memphians to stay-at-home for two weeks unless they were essential workers. The mayor said essential businesses could stay open, including fire and police departments, hospitals, and grocery stores.

March 24: Shelby County became the second Tennessee county (Davidson County being the first) to surpass 100 confirmed coronavirus cases.

Shelby County reported its first COVID-19 death on March 28.

Gov. Lee signed an executive order on April 2 requiring Tennesseans to stay home unless they are carrying out essential activities.

Shelby County coronavirus cases increase to 706 on April 4 and just one week after the first COVID-19-related death in Shelby County, the number of deaths rose to 10.

The eight municipal mayors announced that May 4 would begin the first phase of reopening the economy due to a slowing rate of new cases and hospitalizations.

May 27: Shelby Co. surpassed the grim milestone of 100 deaths. In the 81 days since its first case was reported, Shelby County lost 102 people to COVID-19. Eight new deaths were reported on the 27th.

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