MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department says there are now 198 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County.
That's 28 more cases than what was reported on the previous day.
David Sweat, chief of epidemiology at the Shelby County Health Department, says so far, 74% of the tested cases are younger than 60 years old.
Thursday afternoon, Shelby County Health officials said there is a "lag" in receiving results from the state. Part of the reason for the delay is the increasing amount of testing sites available to the public.
The Shelby County Health Department says the the uptick in cases is still faster than previously expected, and they're still trying to catch up on the virus that is still in the community.
Sweat says we have not reached a plateau, so we can expect cases to rise.
While health officials did not say how many people are being monitored at this time, they said a total of 463 people have gone through the monitoring process. That number includes people who have been cleared and those who are currently being monitored by the health department.
A person who has been exposed to COVID-19 is monitored for 14 days after their last exposure date. Shelby County health officials say a person is cleared if they're not showing symptoms by the end of their quarantine period.
Shelby County Health officials say data from around the world suggests 80% of COVID-19 patients will have mild symptoms and will not require hospitalization.
Sweat says they have reduced certain unessential services at the health department to allow those employees to work on tracking individuals who may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
Sweat says they want to slow down the spread through social distancing so the healthcare system can keep u with the number of cases.
"Avoid those handshakes and close contacts with other people and hugs," Sweat says. "Here in the south we often hug each other but now is not the time to do those welcomes and greetings.”
Officials say there is still evidence of transmission in the community. So, they are encouraging people to abide by the stay at home orders, maintain at least a 6 feet distance from those around you if you go outside and cancel or postpone all gatherings with 10 or more people.