MEMPHIS, Tenn. — More people are masking up again following the recent surge of Covid-19 in summer cases.

For the first time since the public health emergency ended in May, Memphis and the rest of the United States are seeing a bump in coronavirus transmission.

“We had about a 12 percent increase in hospital admissions across the country from Covid within the last couple of weeks,” said Jeff Warren, Family physician and Memphis City Councilman. “So, we’re seeing an uptick.”

The Shelby County Health Department’s COVID-19 Weekly Status Report from the last week in July shows a seven-day total of 267 new cases reported, 411 cases tested within 14 days, and 36 pediatric cases tested within 14 days.

“We are in a new phase where before everyone needed to mask up all the time,” Warren said. “I think what we need to do now is use common sense. If you got something and want to protect other people, you put a mask on.”

Parents are also urged to get an updated booster shot for their children.

“We know COVID-19 is not required for school entry, but it sure is nice to have it so that you’re protecting your kids against any kind of disease they may pick up while at school,” said Dr. Michelle Taylor, Shelby County Health Department Director.

“Expiration dates tell you instead of being 100 percent effective, there going to be 95 percent effective or 90 percent effective. So, if that’s what you got, I’d still use it.” Warren said. “Wash your hands. Do the commonsense things you do to protect yourself and if you’re sick. Wear a mask to protect you from infecting other people.”

But despite the uptick, many health experts say covid rates are still at “near-historic lows”.