SCHD: 36 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in UofM students, staff

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County leaders gave an update Tuesday on COVID-19 in the community.

On average, the county has seen an average of 121 cases per day over the last week, according to Chief of Epidemiology David Sweat.

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Today the county is reporting 213 new cases.

The reproductive rate of the virus has increased in recent days to .94, Sweat said.

Each person who is infected is creating nearly one additional case.

The SCHD is working with the University of Memphis to investigate case clusters at the university.

One cluster involves the football team and staff associated with the football team, Sweat said.

Another cluster is associated with other students.

There are 36 cases among students and staff under investigation.

Related: Thousands of SCS students haven’t logged in to virtual class, SCS says

The University of Memphis released this statement:

"As we work with the Shelby County Health Department to gain a full and accurate understanding of recent COVID-19 cases, and in an effort to guard against any potential spread, we will maintain campus density at current levels and not add additional face-to-face classes next week as originally scheduled.

We will continue to monitor available data and consider any adjustments that would increase the density on our campus only after we are sure that the rates of infection are stable or declining. A target date for the next review will be the beginning of October at the earliest.

As we have done throughout the course of this pandemic, all decisions are driven by the latest health information with the safety of our faculty, staff and students being paramount. For the latest updates, visit"

The SCHD will make revisions to the health directive in the next week due to the downward trend in cases, according to Dr. Bruce Randolph.

Restrictions will still be in place, but more businesses will be allowed to open.

The revised health directive will include new guidance for limited-service restaurants.

Randolph said the health department has not closed any playgrounds, but certain municipalities chose to close some down at this time.

The SCHD is monitoring the effects of the Labor Day holiday on COVID-19 transmission.

Labor Day is in our rearview mirror, but the COVID consequences from that weekend will be clear by the end of this week. The Shelby County Health Department would like to loosen some restrictions by the end of the week, but the impact of labor day is a factor.

Officials will know this week what effect labor day had on COVID-19 cases.

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According to the health department. case numbers are up.

Over the past seven days, the average was 121.

But yesterday, the number of new cases jumped to 213.

The reproductive rate is also up. Sunday, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients jumped by 20.

“By Friday we will know more whether any of these upticks Sunday and Monday were a blip on the radar and the downward trend resumes or if it was the beginning of a new trend,” said David Sweat Shelby County Chief of Epidemiology.

The health department warns if restrictions are loosened on businesses things will not go back to the way they were before the shutdown, but we will be closer to that.