Shelby County COVID cases on the decline

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials gave an update on Feb. 10 on COVID-19 cases and vaccinations in the area.

There’s some good news when it comes to COVID.

Since mid-January, new cases have been on the decline for all ages.

Hospitalizations have also been going down about 20 percent week to week.

The Shelby County Health Department says after nearly two years of dealing with the impact of COVID, we are slowly on a downward trend.

There were 432 new COVID cases reported Thursday, including 92 in children.

The 7-day average of cases dropped 46 percent in the past weeks and 63 percent over the past two weeks.

During Thursday’s news conference, officials said children between 6 months and 4 years of age will soon be eligible to receive the vaccine.

“We think that they’re two weeks away, maybe even a week away, from initial consideration, and it should be toward the end of the month assuming everything goes fine for emergency use authorization,” Memphis’s Chief Operating Officer Doug McGowen said.

The health department also says oral therapies, which are currently in short supply, are impacting reducing the effects of COVID.

“It is not only preventing a lot of severe outcomes and deaths, it’s preventing hospitalizations, but it appears to be shortening the course of the illness,” Shelby County Health Director Michelle Taylor said.

Total hospitalizations as of Feb. 6 was 438, with 100 in ICU, officials said.

According to the Shelby County Health Department, the reproductive rate of the virus is now .62, down from last week.

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Active cases have also decreased by nearly 50 percent, SCHD said.

Shelby County is just over 50 percent of the total population being fully vaccinated.

Shelby County is toward the tail end of the omicron variant spike, SCHD said.

Health officials said they expect the last COVID Task Force briefing to take place on Mar. 10, around two years after the pandemic began in the community.

Director Michelle Taylor said health officials would continue to provide data and updates and encourage vaccinations for any disease.

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