Shelby County leaders discuss the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in the community

Shelby County leaders discuss the ongoing fight against COVID-19 in the community
The future of economic development in Memphis & Shelby County (WHBQ)

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Today Shelby County leaders held a briefing on the continued fight against COVID-19 in our community.

Mayor Lee Harris said he signed an Executive Order today to protect inmates from the virus.

In-person visits will cease, and all employees, vendors and visitors to corrections facilities will be screened.

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Harris said testing will be provided for any inmate with symptoms.

Free face masks will be given out each week at corrections facilities for staff and inmates.

Harris said the upward trend of cases is worrying.

Harris said officials will be in conversation this week about additional restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.

Schools are still expected to reopen this Fall, according to Harris.

Shelby County officials are supportive of Memphis’ face mask ordinance.

Officials are talking to the state of Tennessee about whether Shelby County has any authority on mandating a mask requirement.

Dr. Bruce Randolph said wearing a mask continues to be very important.

Shelby County has performed more tests than any county in the state.

Over 126,000 people have been tested, according to Randolph.

Randolph said a third of people who make an appointment to be tested for the virus are not showing up.

It is important to show up to be tested if you make an appointment.

This weekend, during the July 4th holiday, people are encouraged to avoid large crowds.

Gatherings should be kept to no more than 10 people.

Randolph said the virus is disproportionately affecting African-Americans and Hispanics.

Obesity, heart disease and respiratory conditions continue to increase risk of death from the disease.

Randolph said the increase in the positivity rate of coronavirus cases, now at 10.3, is a point of major concern.

People are encouraged to continue social distancing.

People are encouraged to limit activities to only those that are essential.

Randolph said the virus is spreading through close contact in bars, restaurants and family gatherings.

There has been an increase in people who have the virus but are not showing any symptoms.