Executive dean of UTHSC College of Medicine discusses COVID-19 impact on Shelby County

Dr. Strome discussing virus impact in Shelby Co. - August 4

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On Tuesday, Shelby County added 207 new coronavirus cases bringing the total number of cases here in the county to just over 22,000.

Dr. Scott Strome, the executive dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center joined us Tuesday to discuss the impact of the virus in Shelby County.

Strome says there are a few things giving him a glimmer of hope for the county amid the pandemic.

“A few things but most important is that when we look at the number of tests on a daily basis, that number seems like its declining slightly,” he said. “And sometimes what we see when we report our test results is the aggregate of multiple days but, in fact, if you look at the day by day basis that number seems like it may be going down.

He says we should take that as a piece of “cautious optimism.”

As schools including universities and colleges prepare to reopen for the school year, UTHSC recently partnered with the University of Memphis to offer COVID-19 testing to returning staff and students.

According to Strome, the goal of the partnership is to test students who are going to be in clinical care settings.

He believes the country itself is in need of a national strategy to turn the tide of the pandemic rather than states fending for themselves.

“We need a national strategy. That’s really unquestioned,” said Strome. “We know based on what other countries have done that this requires good social hygiene, mask-wearing, hand washing, social distancing to be able to stop the spread of this virus.”

View the full interview with Strome in the video at the top of the story.

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