MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID-19 incidence has increased moderately since mid-July according to the Shelby County Health Department Office of Epidemiology.

COVID-19 public health indicators are continuing to be monitored to track virus activity in the community.

Reports show the most recent seven-day weekly average, compiled on Aug. 12, indicates 559 positive cases per week in Shelby County. That statistic only includes Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests reported by laboratories, not home tests.

As of Aug. 14, there were 20 COVID-19 positive patients in area hospitals, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

SCHD says that as of Saturday, the recently detected variant known as BA.2.86 has not been detected in wastewater samples in Shelby County or any other county in Tennessee.

The variant has reportedly been detected recently in Michigan, Denmark, Israel, and the U.K.

The current predominant variants in Shelby County are XBB.9.1 and XBB.1.16 which are subvariants of the Omicron variant, currently the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the world, SCHD says.

New, updated COVID-19 vaccines for the fall season are expected to be available by the end of September once the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approve them, according to SCHD.

The new vaccines are designed to target the XBB Omicron variants, now the most common form in circulation.

Shelby county health department says that they will offer the new booster when it becomes available.

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The original bivalent booster introduced in the fall of 2022 which provides additional protection against both Omicron and the original strain of COVID-19, is still available at SCHD’s public health clinics.

COVID-19 vaccines are widely available at multiple pharmacies and clinics throughout Shelby County.

Testing is also available at pharmacies and clinics throughout Shelby County at no cost to people without health insurance who are having symptoms related to COVID-19.

The Shelby County Health Department suggests the following regarding isolation:

  • If you are sick, stay home from work and other activities.
  • If your children are sick, keep them home from school and after-school activities.
  • If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, and fatigue, get tested and stay home until you receive results.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home for at least five days and isolate yourself from others in your home.
  • If you experience symptoms, the isolation period is based on the severity of those symptoms.
  • If you have a severe illness requiring hospitalization, isolate for ten days. If your symptoms are mild and you are fever-free for 24 hours without using a fever-reducing medication, you may end your isolation after day five.
  • Wear a high-quality mask until at least 11 days after testing positive.
  • Contact a healthcare provider or seek urgent care if you experience severe symptoms.