Shelby Co. Health Dept. expecting spike in COVID-19 cases as schools reopen after downward trend

Health leaders expect increase in COVID-19 cases as schools resumes

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - While health officials have said there’s a downward trend in county COVID-19 cases, they say that cases are still likely to go up now that school is back in session.

As some schools start in-person learning, the health department said community-based testing sites will begin displaying online if they test school-aged children so that parents will know. A pilot asymptomatic pool testing program is underway with the city of Memphis and staff of Shelby County Schools and some private schools to see if it can be used on students. Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter says she expects educators to also be added to that list at some point.

COVID-19 numbers slightly improving in Shelby County

“As our capacity is increasing then we can broaden our list of prioritized populations to include teachers and other front-line employees,” she said.

Haushalter also said targeted interventions in the county like mandatory mask-wearing and bar closures are working. She said lab turnaround time for tests is back down to one to three days, and there are enough tests for the public.

As far as the decline in cases, the health department says we’ve been seeing 200 to 300 cases per day compared to the 600 and 700 we had in July.

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