Shelby Co. leaders expected to make an important decision on the spread of COVID-19

Shelby County could form a Board of Health

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - On Monday, the Shelby County Commission is expected to give final approval to create a Shelby County Board of Health.

The board could contain up to six health professionals, a citizen representative, along with the county health officer and health department director.

Shelby County Health Director Alisa Haushalter said the board will remove politics from the decision-making process... and allows the health department to hear more diverse opinions.

Along with the Board of Health, the health department also said it’s looking for a testing czar.

Duties for the czar would include looking toward new types of testing and helping labs resolve supply chain issues, that are delaying results.

Officials search for ‘testing czar’ to increase the availability of COVID-19 testing in Shelby County

The COO of Memphis, Doug Mcgowen, explained the need for the position. “We really need somebody who can step forward, lean into this, and wake up everyday thinking nothing but testing and how we manage those things.”

Currently, coronavirus testing labs are so backlogged, community testing sites are only testing people with symptoms and those who have come into contact with someone who tested positive.

Shelby County Commissioners will meet Monday afternoon. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2020 WMC. All rights reserved.