Shelby County residents respond to spike in COVID-19 cases, call to consider a return to Phase 1

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County saw an increase of almost 400 new COVID-19 cases this weekend. This comes after both the city and county delayed entering Phase 3 of the Back to Business plan.

Now a county commissioner is seeking to ask officials to consider going back to Phase 1.

RELATED: Shelby County Commissioner to ask SCHD about returning to Phase 1

FOX13 caught up with people out in Downtown Memphis Sunday to get their take on the possibility.

Many said the new numbers aren’t shocking at all because people are starting to get out more.

“With everything going on people are just kind of back out and about. No masks. No anything,” said Abdoul Sanogo.

The City of Memphis hasn’t fully returned to normal in almost four months. But despite the ongoing pandemic, people are starting to come out of their homes even with a delay in entering Phase 3.

With this has come more COVID-19 cases. The Shelby County Health Department reported an increase of 385 new cases Saturday, bringing the number of cases in Shelby County to 7,840.

SCHD: Shelby County will remain in Phase 2 of Back-to-Business

“You go shopping it’s like everything back to normal when it’s not supposed to be normal. So, I guess they should try to enforce maybe social distance a little more,” Sanogo told FOX13.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer said she hopes city officials take even more precautions. In a statement to FOX13, Sawyer said she will be asking Dr. Alisa Haushalter and Mayor Lee Harris about the feasibility of returning to Phase 1.

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If this is feasible, Sawyer says she will request to return to the opening phase. She also says questions will be asked regarding additional protections the county will have in place.

“I think we should definitely step back until we have like a grasp on it. Which we clearly don’t,” said Eysha Curry.

Residents said they aren’t shocked the city has reached this point in possibly taking a step back.

To learn more about the Back to Business plan and its Phases, CLICK HERE.

“Very much so, but it makes sense with all the protesting, everything going on. But not just the protesting. Just everything going on in general. People are kind of just living their life normally because they’re kind of going insane with quarantine. It makes sense,” said Curry.

" When it starts climbing, if nothing is being done to stop it, it’s going to keep on climbing,” said Sanogo.

Also in her statement to FOX13, Sawyer said. “Back to business can’t be at the expense of people’s health.”

FOX13 also reached out to the Shelby County Health Department. They could not give a comment.

The next Shelby County Commission meeting is Monday.

Shelby County Commissioner Tami Sawyer’s complete statement reads as follows:

The numbers we are seeing show we have moved too fast. Back to business cant be at the expense of people’s health. I will be asking Dr. Haushalter & Mayor Harris about the feasibility of returning to phase 1. If feasible, I will request that we make that call. If we aren’t returning to phase 1, what additional policy and protections will the county put in place immediately and how can the commission support the crisis we seem to be in the midst of as daily numbers are doubled and almost tripled. We have to act urgently and put PEOPLE, not businesses first.

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