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Mild symptoms reported in COVID-19 outbreak at highly-vaccinated rehabilitation center in Shelby Co.

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 5:05 PM CDT
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MILLINGTON, Tenn. (WMC) - A COVID-19 breakout in Shelby County has health leaders touting just how beneficial the vaccine can be. While an outbreak occurred at a heavily vaccinated long term care facility, only three people showed symptoms and the cases were mild.

Health leaders said that outbreak at Millington Health Care Center is proof the vaccine protects from serious illness and death, even in our most vulnerable.

“It highlights the critical importance of people who are vulnerable and susceptible to the virus getting vaccinated because that outbreak at the nursing home in a heavily vaccinated population resulted in no adverse effects,” said Memphis COO Doug McGowen.

The Shelby County Health Department said 12 residents and one staff member at the long-term care facility tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated, but all were asymptomatic except for three people with mild symptoms. The health department said the virus was brought in from an outside visitor.

In trials, the vaccines were reported to be nearly 100 percent effective in preventing serious illness and death.

“1,700 people have died from COVID, nearly 90 people in just the last two months, but one of the things doctors tell us is that no one who is fully vaccinated has been counted among those deaths,” McGowen said.

The more than 350,000 vaccinated Shelby County residents are being credited for getting the county to a point where we can enjoy Memorial Day Weekend activities. Nearly two weeks after COVID-19, restrictions including mask mandates were loosened in the county. There’s no sign yet of a case increase.

“We’re shrinking the future epidemic at this point in time,” said Shelby County Health Department deputy director, David Sweat.

However, the City of Memphis continues to see fewer people coming to the vaccination sites. Two sites will close this week, and the city is moving to a more on-the-ground approach. It will focus on community pop-up sites and sending street teams out to pass out vaccine information.

Next week, the city will start a new ride share to vaccines.

“If you dial 901-RIDE-901 and tell the individuals there you need a ride to a vaccine, they will take you to the place closest to you,” McGowen said.

For those who are vaccinated or will be by May 31, you can still sing up for your shot at winning a car. Click here for the sweepstakes.

Saturday at the Pipkin building, the first 1,000 people to get their shot will get two tickets to the Tigers football home opener.

WMC reached out to Millington Health Care Center late Thursday afternoon and is still awaiting a comment from its corporate office.

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