“Middle of the worst part:” Shelby County health leaders give update on COVID-19 case numbers, vaccination timeline

“Middle of the worst part:” Shelby County health leaders give update on COVID-19 case numbers, vaccination timeline
Shelby County health officials said it could take up to a year to get the entire local population vaccinated. AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin (Peter Hamlin)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials gave an update Thursday on the ongoing battle against COVID-19.

Chief of Epidemiology David Sweat said 71,728 cases have been diagnosed in Shelby County.

984 people have died from the virus.

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Sweat said we are approaching a milestone moment: Today or tomorrow, we could see more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths since March 7.

Last night, 661 people were in the hospital locally for COVID-19.

Sweat said we are in the “middle of the worst part” of the pandemic.

Sweat said holiday travel and gatherings are affecting our current case numbers.

Teams have been vaccinating people in group homes and nursing homes this week.

SCHD is working with the Tennessee Dept. of Health to determine when we will get another shipment of the vaccine.

Tennessee has an online eligibility tool for COVID-19 vaccines.

Sweat said it could take up to a year to get the entire local population vaccinated.

Dr. Bruce Randolph said everyone should adhere to the current Health Directive.

Employers should allow employees to work at home if at all possible, Randolph said.

Employees who are sick in any way should stay home.

When the current Health Directive expires Jan. 22, it could be extended, Randolph said.

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