TDH reports over 5,000 new virus cases, 36 additional deaths statewide

11 more COVID-19 deaths, 609 new cases in Shelby Co.

TDH reports over 5,000 new virus cases, 36 additional deaths statewide
Earl Meyer, of St. Peter, is given a COVID-19 swab test during a free testing event at the St. Peter Community Center, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in St. Peter, Minn. (Source: Gage Cureton)

SHELBY CO., Tenn. (WMC) - Coronavirus cases increased by 5,693 cases in Tennessee Tuesday bringing the active case count to more than 39,000. And the state’s virus deaths increased by 36.

There has been a total of 380,186 COVID-19 cases and 4,638 virus-related deaths statewide.

Of that total, over 336,000 cases are considered inactive/recovered.

Hospitalizations are causing some concern in the Mid-South -- there are currently 2,369 Tennesseans hospitalized due to complications with the coronavirus.

The Shelby County Health Department has identified 609 new coronavirus cases and 11 more deaths. Since the beginning of the pandemic 48,714 coronavirus cases and 672 deaths have been reported in Shelby County.

There are currently 3,730 active coronavirus cases and 7,094 people in quarantine countywide.

The increase in coronavirus cases has caused Baptist Memphis to delay procedures that would require an overnight hospital day, meaning some same-day procedures would still be allowed. Officials with Methodist Lebonheur Healthcare said the elective procedures were pulled system-wide Monday and Tuesday. Hospital officials said they have not yet made a decision about the rest of this week.

Coronavirus cases are also rising outside Shelby County. More than 10,000 cases have been reported in DeSoto County. Here’s a breakdown of cases surrounding Shelby County.

  • Tipton Co., TN - 3,753
  • DeSoto Co., MS - 10,332
  • Crittenden Co., AR - 3,116

The state of Mississippi reported a record-breaking number of hospitalizations. Sunday marked the first time the state surpassed 1,000 hospitalizations.

The health department released new information concerning an early treatment for people who test positive for coronavirus and have the following risk factors.

  • Anyone over age 12 with obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or whose immunity is compromised by disease or prescription treatments.
  • Anyone age 12-17 with sickle cell disease; neuromuscular disorder; dependence on medical intervention, such as a breathing or feeding tube; or a lung disorder such as asthma that requires daily medication.
  • Anyone over age 55 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, COPD, or other chronic respiratory diseases.
  • Anyone over age 65.

SCHD said if you test positive for coronavirus and have any of these risk factors, ask your health care provider about early COVID19 treatments.

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.

Here’s what you should know about the health directive

  • Any establishment that serves food and/or alcoholic beverages is required to:
    • Limit occupancy to 50%
    • Close at 10:00 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 30, the health department’s healthcare resource tracking system shows acute care utilization at 87 percent and ICU at 93 percent.

Healthcare Resource Tracking System
Healthcare Resource Tracking System (Source: SCHD)

As hospitalizations increase, the most recent data available from the health department showed a 10.3% 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.

COVID-19 Positivity Rate in Shelby County
COVID-19 Positivity Rate in Shelby County (Source: SCHD)

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 38103 and 38104 have the highest rate.

Shelby Co. Total COVID-19 Case Rate per 100,000 Population
Shelby Co. Total COVID-19 Case Rate per 100,000 Population (Source: SCHD)

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. About 61 percent of the cases and under age 44.

About 19,000 of the coronavirus cases in Shelby County are among African Americans, which is about 55 percent of the overall total. Sixty-four percent of the total COVID-19 deaths have been African-American.

COVID-19 deaths in Shelby County by age
COVID-19 deaths in Shelby County by age (Source: SCHD)

Eighty-one percent of individuals that died from coronavirus in Shelby County also had a cardiac condition.

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 24 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.

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

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