Shelby County Health Dept. investigating ‘suspicious case’ of COVID-19 that could be UK variant

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SHELBY CO., Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department announced Tuesday a “suspicious case’ of COVID-19 that could be a more infectious strain of the virus found in the United Kingdom.

The U.K. variant, also known as variant B117, was confirmed in Tennessee last month, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

The possible case in Shelby County was sent to TDH for testing.

Speaking at Tuesday’s COVID-19 task force briefing, SCHD leaders said they have a plan that will be put in place if it’s confirmed that the B117 variant is in Shelby County.

The health department reported 206 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday and nine more deaths. The county has had more than 83,200 total cases and 1,289 deaths since the start of the pandemic. About 78,000 of those cases are now considered inactive.

Shelby County administered nearly 955,000 tests.

As of Tuesday, cases in surrounding counties are as follows:

  • Tipton Co. - 6,558
  • Desoto Co. - 18,450
  • Crittenden Co. - 5,041
  • Fayette Co. - 4,267

According to the health department, 89% of acute care beds and 92% of ICU beds in the Mid-South are currently utilized.

SCHD is tracking ongoing clusters in the following long-term care facilities:

Long-term care facilities with COVID-19 clusters
Long-term care facilities with COVID-19 clusters (Source: SCHD)

Within the Shelby County Division of Corrections, 151 inmates and 154 employees have tested positive for the virus. One person has died.

At the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Corrections, 287 detainees and 343 employees have tested positive. One employee died.

Shelby Co. Vaccine information Feb. 2
Shelby Co. Vaccine information Feb. 2 (Source: SCHD)

Vaccinations continue for people in the 1a1 and 1a2 groups as well as people 75 and older. Click here to read who is eligible, how to sign up and where to get your vaccine. Supplies remain limited.

Call 901-222-SHOT (7468) for more information.

So far, Shelby County has administered 62,477 vaccines as of Tuesday. That includes 47,200 first doses and 15,277 second doses.

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