COVID-19 hospitalizations, positivity rates are declining in Shelby County

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 8:13 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - While Tennessee is starting to see steady declines in COVID-19 cases statewide, more than 3,000 new infections and 100 deaths were reported in the state over the last 24 hours.

However, Memphis and Shelby County are seeing promising developments according to state leaders.

Some of the state’s first surges this summer from the COVID-19 Delta variant were in Memphis and West Tennessee.

Now, all the pandemic indicators- cases, hospitalizations and positivity rates are declining in Shelby County.

“Tennessee Health Commissioner: So sort of the same way it ramped up a couple of months ago is the same pattern it’s following now. So, we’re seeing some pretty sustained decreases in the Memphis and Jackson markets,” Dr. Lisa Piercey.

The latest, 239 new cases reported in Shelby County between Tuesday and Wednesday.

As case numbers decrease, there’s also a decrease in daily vaccinations. There are currently less than 1,000 people on average getting vaccinated in Shelby County each day, and many people are becoming eligible for a booster shot.

Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Piercey says all providers can administer third shots to those approved by the FDA. Dr.

Piercey breaks those eligible into two groups:

  • Those who “should” get a booster - People age 65 and older, those in long term care facilities or age 50-64 with a medical condition
  • Those who “may” consider a booster -People age 18-49 with a medical condition and those 18 and older who may frequently come into contact with COVID positive people through work

The booster shot is a chance for an extra layer of protection, but Piercey says it’s not the answer to end the pandemic.

“We’re not going to boost our way out of this pandemic. The single most effective way for us to end this pandemic is to get the unvaccinated vaccinated,” Dr. Piercey said.

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