SCHD: Case of South African COVID-19 variant found over the weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials gave an update Tuesday about COVID-19 in our community.

A South African strain variant was discovered over the weekend.

SCHD has been conducting investigation into that case, according to David Sweat, SCHD Deputy Director.

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They believe it is travel-associated after the individual traveled to Colorado and Washington.

There is no evidence the strain is being transmitted in the county, Sweat said.

Only three COVID-19 variant strains have been found in the county since the pandemic began.

Sweat said over 500,000 people have died from COVID-19 across the U.S.

1,460 people have died in Shelby County.

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1,531 active cases were diagnosed in the county in the last two weeks. Sweat said this is an improvement.

107,015 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in Shelby County, Sweat said.

Sweat said 40 percent of those aged 75 and older have been vaccinated at this time.

Vaccine sites are back up this week and operating after last week’s winter weather delays.

40,000 doses will be administered this week, Sweat said.

The reproductive rate is now below 1 in Shelby County.

1,500-1,600 cases are expected in the next few weeks.

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