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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

COVID cases on the rise in Shelby County with 347 new cases in one day

“Whenever the reproductive rate of the virus is above one, we are growing the epidemic,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Health Department Deputy Director.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials are noticing a trend in positive COVID cases. There was recently an uptick in cases that haven't been seen in nearly two months. 

After COVID cases peaked in July, it seemed as though the Mid-South was getting a handle on the number of new cases. That has since flipped, and the Shelby County Health Department is warning that the fall wave of COVID is here. 

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Mid-South is back on the rise.

“Today, we have 33,481 cases that have been diagnosed. That does represent a total of 347 new cases that were diagnosed and reported yesterday,” said David Sweat, Shelby County Health Department Deputy Director.  

The department said most of those new cases were collected between October 7th and October 10th. 

“It is a real time increase of what we’re seeing in the community,” said Sweat.

It is almost similar to the peak in July. 

“We know that some political jurisdictions have removed certain kinds of restrictions that have been placed during the summer. Others have not. The main thing is regardless of jurisdictional behaviors, personal choices are dictating what people are doing,” said Sweat. “Whenever the reproductive rate of the virus is above one, we are growing the epidemic.”

The impact is already being seen in hospitalizations. 

“It has now started to increase again,” said Sweat. “We have pretty active COVID-19 transmission going on around the county. The most active area is the northeast quadrant which would include parts of Bartlett, Lakeland, Collierville, Arlington.” 

Health officials are monitoring and considering which steps, if any, should be taken to get numbers back down. 

“We have driven the reproductive rate of the virus below one and we have held it below one for more than 40 days. It is certainly within our ability to do if we all stay committed to that course of action,” said Sweat.

The Shelby County Health Department has released recommendations and guidelines as we get into fall activities and Halloween celebrations including no haunted houses.

RELATED: Shelby County Health Department releases guidance for Halloween