“Unfortunate milestone:” Shelby County reaches new high for COVID-19 hospitalizations, officials say

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials spoke Thursday on COVID-19 data and ongoing vaccinations in the community.

Chief Doug McGowen said the county has reached an “unfortunate milestone.”

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The area has surpassed the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the hospitals and ICU, McGowen said.

Over 700 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 this week. 186 are in ICU.

Most of the people in the hospital are unvaccinated, McGowen said.

There has been an increased demand for testing due to the recent rise in cases, primarily due to the Delta variant.

More testing capacity is expected to be added next week.

49% of the county’s population are fully vaccinated, McGowen said.

The Pfizer vaccine recently received full FDA approval.

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The county expects full approval for booster shots in mid-September.

The city’s door-to-door vaccine campaign will end at the end of August.

Teams have knocked on over 20,000 doors, McGowen said.

Over 100 people received a vaccine-on-demand.

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SCHD Director Michelle Taylor said the rolling seven-day average of cases is 744.

The test positivity rate is 21%.

Over 18,000 kids have tested positive for the virus. 2,767 are current active cases.

Pediatric cases currently account for 32.5% of active cases.

Taylor expressed concern over the recent surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations.

As of Aug. 25, active cases in the pediatric population has surpassed that of older patients.

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