UPDATED: Shelby County reports 58 cases of coronavirus; at least 371 cases in Tennessee

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department said Sunday morning they have confirmed 58 cases of the coronavirus in the area.

That’s up from 42 confirmed cases on Saturday.

Health officials say 50 Shelby County residents have been approved for testing by the state lab. There are currently 114 people under public health monitoring in Shelby County.

Health officials said the increase was not unexpected, because commercial laboratories have begun reporting results on tests conducted over the last several days.

Friday, Dr. Alisa Haushalter with the Shelby County Health Department said 41 people had been tested.

“Nationally what’s happened is, about every fifth day in communities, the number doubles, and so if you start projecting outward, within a month we’ll have significant increases,” Haushalter said.

Although SCS school Superintendent Joris Ray said one of the new cases was an SCS employee, Haushalter would not confirm whether a school employee was one of the cases.

“We’re beginning to see transmission in different areas. So previously we were seeing transmission related to travel,” Haushalter said. “What you would anticipate next is much more transmission in social settings. So more broadly grocery stores, restaurants, bars and so on.”

To date, there are now 371 cases in the state of Tennessee, the state Department of Health reported.

The Health Department recommends strict adherence to social-distancing recommendations:

Messages for Individuals:

·         Avoid handshakes and close contact with others whenever possible.

·         Cancel or postpone gatherings of 10 or more people. Instead of visiting friends or relatives, call or video chat.

·         Stay at home whenever possible. While Shelby County School students and many others are out of school, keep children home and plan home-based activities.

·         Children and adults may exercise outdoors, while maintaining at least six feet of distance from others.

·         Do not go to work or go out in public if you are sick, especially with fever, cough or other respiratory symptoms.

·         Re-evaluate travel plans. It is strongly recommended to avoid any unnecessary travel.  If traveling overseas, check the CDC’s travel advisory website, which is updated daily: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.  If traveling within the U.S., avoid destinations where COVID-19 has been reported.

·         Avoid non-essential flights. Traveling by private vehicle limits exposure to other people.

·         Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Scrub dirt under fingernails with a brush and soap.

·         Practice respiratory etiquette by using a tissue if coughing or sneezing, then throwing the tissue away and washing your hands.

·         Sanitize surfaces that are frequently touched by many people with anti-bacterial wipes or diluted bleach solution.

Messages for Community/Business Leaders:

·         Cancel or postpone meetings and conferences of 10 or more people.

·         Consider conducting all conferences or meetings by phone or video chat rather than face-to-face.

·         Adhere to CDC travel guidelines by reviewing the CDC’s travel website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html) and avoiding destinations with travel health notices.

·         Discourage workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, whenever possible.

·         Encourage and enable employee telecommuting to limit person-to-person interactions as much as possible.

·         Businesses that serve the public, including restaurants and retail stores should encourage social distancing by putting space between tables and spacing out check-out lines as much as possible.

·         Consider providing delivery or curbside pick-up options to limit interactions in stores and restaurants.

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