Delta variant cases of COVID-19 growing in Shelby County

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Four more COVID-19 cases of the Delta variant have been reported in Shelby County, which means 14 cases in total since last month. Shelby County Health officials say the spread is not under control yet.

What’s concerning health officials about these 14 cases is that they are spread among five clusters and none of those clusters are related. That means community transmission is happening.

Along with the 14 confirmed cases, ten more cases are considered probable for the delta variant of COVID-19.

“Although our seven day rolling case average is 47, the delta variant could certainly undo a lot of the progress we already made,” said Shelby County Health Department Deputy Director David Sweat.

While average daily COVID-19 case totals remain low, they individual daily cases reported are rising. Earlier this week we were recording only 12 cases within 24 hours. Our latest count over a day is 78 new cases.

With 14 confirmed delta variant cases in Shelby County, health leaders said they have yet to get a hold on continued transmission.

“No, not at all. We have four clusters that have been identified that are not connected to each other since June 9,” said Sweat. “The evidence suggests it’s spreading in different ways. We expect we’ll find more clusters.”

The delta variant is 50 percent more transmissible than the alpha or UK variant. Based on projections seen around the world, 50 percent of Shelby County’s COVID-19 cases could be Delta related by the end of July with 100 percent being the Delta variant by Labor Day.

The Shelby County Health Department said more vaccinations will help us get ahead of the spread. Doctors said the current vaccines are about 90 percent effective in preventing the spread of the delta variant.

“We want to make sure you’re aware of this and if this is what makes you finally come along and get a vaccination that’s what we’re trying to encourage,” Sweat said.

Another way to stay on stop of delta cases is for people to get tested regularly. If you are experiencing things like a fever and cough or the loss of taste and smell get a COVID-19 test. You can find a list of test sites here.

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