Shelby County health officials give update on COVID-19 case numbers, vaccine availability

WATCH: Shelby County health officials give update on COVID-19 case numbers, vaccine availability

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials spoke Thursday about COVID-19 in our community.

Chief of Epidemiology David Sweat said Shelby County has reported over 76,000 cases so far.

1,093 deaths have been reported. 31 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

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Sweat said the overall positivity rate is around 9.8 percent.

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535 people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 in local hospitals as of yesterday evening.

1.89 percent of the county’s population has been vaccinated, Sweat said.

The reproductive rate has improved to 1.01. Each case is creating slightly more than one new case.

SCHD Dr. Alisa Haushalter said vaccines have come from a variety of avenues, including the Tennessee Dept. of Health.

Some harmacies have received vaccines from a federal allocation. This allows them to vaccinate seniors in nursing homes that have a partnership with that pharmacy.

Haushalter said the SCHD is planning for vaccination to continue through 2021.

The drive-thru vaccination site at the Pipkin Building will be a permanent vaccine location.

Citizens are encouraged to stay up-to-date on vaccine availability and who can receive the vaccine.

Shelby.community will be updated with vaccine information daily, Haushalter said.

The COVID-19 information hotline is available at 901-222-6275.

901-222-7468 is the number to call for vaccine appointments. No appointments are currently available.

Dr. Bruce Randolph said case numbers are starting to plateau.

“Now is not the time to let your foot off the gas,” Randolph said.

Citizens are encouraged to continue wearing masks, practicing social distancing and avoiding crowds and gatherings.

If you’re sick, stay home. Once tested, stay at home until you get the results of your test.