MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County reported a single-day record for COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.
According to the latest numbers, 835 new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the health department in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number since the pandemic began on March 7 to 43,641. There are 389 people hospitalized.
The previous single-day record was 700 new cases which was set July 14, according to WREG’s data. On Monday, there was an increase of 686 cases.
“Right now, we are in a very challenging period. We know we are in the fall surge,” County Mayor Lee Harris said. “We are still several weeks from even a limited distribution of any kind vaccine in Shelby County and months away from a vaccine to all.”
Harris said he would encourage the other 21 counties and 70 cities in West Tennessee to adopt mask mandates, because those counties affected numbers in Shelby County.
Approximately 613 people have died, although the health department reported no new deaths in the past 24 hours. As of Tuesday, there are also currently 389 COVID-19 positive patients being treated at hospitals in Shelby County. That’s an increase from Monday when they had 335.
That is of note for health officials because, combined with the non-COVID patients, hospitals are currently operating at 92 percent utilization when it comes to acute care. In the ICU departments, it’s 89 percent.
Health officials warned that if the county continues to move in the same direction they could be forced to make some difficult decisions. They didn’t specifically say what that would include.
“This is a vitally dangerous time for us to try to slow the spread, because the numbers are increasing exponentially,” said Dr. David Sweat with the health department.
The health department also says Tipton County now has 3,100 cases, Crittenden County has 2,700 and DeSoto County has more than 8,900 cases.
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