SCHD: Area hospital caseload from COVID-19 currently manageable

SCHD: Area hospital caseload from COVID-19 currently manageable

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department said Thursday there are a variety of ways this pandemic can go locally in our community. And the best way to ensure it stays under control, officials said, is for you to stay at home unless it’s essential for you to leave.

“The more compliance we have with this recommendation, the better the chances are that we avoid a crisis,” said David Sweat, Chief of Epidemiology with the Shelby County Health Department. As of Thursday the Shelby County Health Department has recorded 198 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The department is reassigning some of its staffers in non-essential functions to help in the investigation of confirmed cases and their contacts.

With significant numbers of positive cases coming in this week the health department is working to get in touch with all those patients.

The city, county, health department, and leaders of the area’s hospitals hold a daily morning briefing on the situation in Memphis. This is being done to monitor medical system capacity and protect against being stunned by a sudden surge of COVID-19 patients.

“Right now the situation remains manageable,” said Sweat, “And through the safer at home orders, the health directives, the safe at home social distancing recommendations, that is our goal to keep our healthcare system operational, within its capabilities. And so far that’s where we’re at.”

If you are contacted for monitoring because you had close contact with a COVID-19 patient the health department will establish your exposure date and then count 14 days from that for the time that you would need to be out of the public.

They also will keep tabs with you and ask you to monitor for any symptoms like fever, a dry cough, or shortness of breath.

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