The Memphis/Shelby County Joint Covid-19 Task Force held a media briefing on Tuesday updating the public on the pandemic. You can view the news conference in the player above.
Highlights from the meeting:
- The nation reached a milestone this week, surpassing 500,000 deaths linked to Covid-19. Here in Shelby County, 1,460 people have died representing 1.7 percent of all cases diagnosed.
- The Shelby County Health Department believes it has found a case of the South African variant in Shelby County. The person was visiting the metro area after having traveled out west. At this time, health officials said it does not appear that the individual spread it. They are waiting for confirmation from the state health department. To date, it’s believed the labs have also found the UK and Brazilian variants.
- Active case counts in Shelby County have fallen over the past few days.
- To date, more than 107,000 doses have been administered in Shelby County. At least 30,000 people have been fully vaccinated.
- Approximately 68 percent of health care workers in Shelby County have been vaccinated along with 40 percent of everyone over the age of 75.
- Vaccination efforts continue this week with the goal of vaccinating 40,000 people.
- The reproductive rate has been below one percent since the beginning of January. Shelby County is now at the lowest rate documented during the pandemic.
The task force announced during its last meeting on Friday that more than 1,300 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been thrown out. The Tennessee Department of Health has launched an investigation into the matter, saying they plan to review Shelby County’s vaccine handling practices and that it plans to assess the county’s inventory of vaccines.
They also announced that restaurants that can’t boil water for food and beverage preperation would have to close due to MLGW’s Boil Water Alert. Some restaurants managed to stay open while others were forced to close.