MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County leaders gave an update Tuesday on the continued fight against COVID-19.
The day marked six months since Shelby County reported its first coronavirus case. Since then, the health department says more than 28,000 people have tested positive for COVID and 397 people have died.
Despite this data, experts say things are looking up. Health leaders say it’s too soon to tell. In two weeks they will be able to determine if the holiday weekend reenergized the virus.
“Stay focused on basic principles: facial coverings, social distancing, really protecting our vulnerable population,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Director.
The Shelby County Health Department is closely monitoring the impact of Labor Day weekend, schools reopening and sports resuming before allowing any more businesses to reopen.
“No changes are going to be contemplated by the joint task force until at least two weeks after this past weekend. So for the next two weeks, we will stay the course,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Chief of Epidemiology.
And check on how businesses are follwing the guidelines.
The health department says it visited 11 businesses recently. Five were not abiding by health department guidelines.
“The message is we are out there doing enforcement actions, and we have a coordinated effort with the sheriff’s office, police department, and government,” said Sweat.
But overall the health department says the weekend was filled with many positive elements of businesses following the rules.
“It was a mixed weekend. We would prefer to not to be engaged with any enforcement with facilities out of compliance, but were grateful for those in compliance,” said Sweat.
The health department says numbers are improving, but the positivity rate is stuck at around eleven percent.
Six cities (Arlington, Bartlett, Millington, Collierville, Lakeland and Germantown) will receive additional money from a $3.4 million fund for coronavirus relief efforts, according to Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.
$1 million in CARES funding has been set aside for close-contact businesses in Shelby County.
Grants are available for these business owners.
Applications are available at covid19.shelbycountytn.gov.
Businesses closed this weekend for noncompliance with the current health directive:
- The Indulge Lounge, 5959 Winchester Rd, Memphis 38115
- In Love Memphis, 7144 Winchester Road, Memphis TN 38115
- DUBAI HOOKAH BAR, 6700 Winchester Rd. Memphis 38115
- MENUE CLUB, 6642 Winchester Road Memphis 38115
- HEIGHT Lounge, 6813 Winchester Rd. Memphis 38115
Eight other businesses were visited and deemed to be compliant; They are;
- LAFAYETTE’s –on Madison, -- COMPLIANT
- THE BLUES CLUB- on Airways Blvd-- COMPLIANT
- SWEET NOTHING CANDY STORE—OVERTON SQUARE, ONLY NON-COMPLIANCE WAS ALLOWING SELF-SERVICE FROM CANDY JARS and the Manager was cooperative for correction.
- ROBATA RESTAURANT ---on Madison Square; --COMPLIANT
- LOCAL –on Madison Square-- COMPLIANT
- BLOW HOOKAH LOUNGE---Exocet Drive, Cordova--COMPLIANT
- BAYOU BAR & GRILL—Overton Square--- COMPLIANT
- GOLDEN INDIA RESTAURANT—Overton Square--COMPLIANT
Sweat said weather and climate do not affect the transmission of the virus; however, colder weather can lead to more people being inside and closer together.
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