MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - For the first time since the beginning of July, Shelby County’s weekly average of daily COVID-19 cases was less than 300.
Memphis City Councilman, local physician, and member of the Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Jeff Warren says he’s encouraged by the numbers this past.
The weekly positivity percentage of tests lowered for the second straight week after 10 weeks of a steady rise in positivity rate.
“If we keep this up, then the number of people in the hospital that’s being predicted for November may be much lower,” said Dr. Jeff Warren, Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force.
Warren says the infection rate, measuring how many people each positive COVID-19 case infects around them, went below one as well -- another good sign.
He and other Shelby County task force members credit the mask mandate and closing bars with helping to slow the spread.
“So the good news is we’re doing a good job, we actually did what we’re supposed to do, we’ve got to keep it up,” said Warren. “I just came from Home Depot, everybody there had a mask on. I didn’t see one person in the whole store without a mask. And that’s something that four weeks ago would not have been the case.”
Saturday, the Mask Up Memphis program made stops in three different locations. Volunteers came to the Frayser, Vollintine-Evergreen and Raleigh neighborhoods to hand out 1,400 free masks made by home crafters that spent the last month putting the masks together.
“It is very important that Memphis masks up and so we are here providing masks just to help the citizens of Memphis to be able to have masks,” said Althea Greene, Shelby county School Board Commissioner.
Dr. Warren says masks, social distancing and washing hands will remain the biggest tools to continue what may be the beginning of a positive, downward trend.
“If we do that and keep that physical distance and wear a mask, this is going to get better and better,” said Warren.
Dr. Warren says if the trends continue to improve for several weeks and months, then the local economy will improve and more schools may be able to welcome students back for in-class learning.