SHELBY CO., Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Health experienced a delay in reporting the daily COVID-19 numbers Tuesday afternoon. After gathering the data, TDH reported 1,304 new coronavirus cases and 73 additional deaths.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Tennessee has seen over 345,00 cases and 4,374 deaths. And with the fall surge currently underway and the holiday season approaching, those total are expected to rise.
According to TDH data, there are more than 38,000 active cases statewide.
The Shelby County Health Department has identified 377 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 45,952 coronavirus cases and 637 deaths have been reported.
There are currently 4,178 active coronavirus cases in Shelby County.
Starting November 23, a new health directive issued by the Shelby County Health Department began. The directive requires restaurants to hold limited capacity and close earlier.
- Any establishment that serves food and/or alcoholic beverages is required to:
- Limit occupancy to 50%
- Close at 10 pm
- Require patrons to wear masks at all times except when actually eating a bite of food or drinking a beverage
- Limit groups dining together to 6 people (but no more than 4 adults)
- Schools are strongly encouraged to suspend all school-related close-contact sports at this time.
- Gyms remain open at this time. All employees and patrons are required to wear masks or facial coverings at all times while in the facility, except when in the swimming pool or shower.
- Shelby County Government expects to be able to provide special financial supports of at least $5,000 for any business that faces closures of at least 30 days that is substantially related to Health Directive No. 15. More details will be forthcoming.
Cases are continually increasing day to day in Shelby County and around the nation. Health officials are becoming concerned with hospitals’ capacity. On November 23, the health department’s healthcare resource tracking system shows acute care utilization at 89 percent and ICU at 89 percent.
As hospitalizations increase, the most recent data available from the health department showed an 11.1% weekly test positivity rate. The positivity rate has increased each week since the end of September. The SCHD said the testing positivity rate is the percentage of all tests conducted that are found to be positive.
Last week, the Shelby County Health Department released a map showing the zip codes with the highest COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 population. So far, zip codes 38118, 38141, and 38125 had the highest rate. Zip codes 38017, 38138, 38139, 38114, and 38053 had the least amount of COVID-19 cases.
The health department said individuals ages 25 to 34 years old have the highest coronavirus case count compared to other ages. At this time, about 21 percent of the total COVID-19 cases are people in that age group.
More than 20,000 of the coronavirus cases in Shelby County are among African Americans, which is about 57 percent of the overall total.
The health department is also investigating COVID-19 clusters where two or more cases have been identified at long-term care facilities in Shelby County. There are 21 facilities currently under investigation -- some of them experiencing more than one cluster since the beginning of the pandemic.
Both residents and staff have been infected.