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Health experts say people are moving backward with precautions to get our economy back open

Our transmission rate is above one, meaning the spread of the virus is not slowing.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dr. Jeff Warren, a member of Memphis and Shelby County's Covid-19 Task Force, explained health officials are seeing a spike in cases - meaning our peak could come sooner than expected.

"In order to get to Phase 3, we need to do Phase 2 right," Warren said.

Warren said we could have to go back into lockdown if we as a community don't maintain social distancing and wear masks.

"We're probably a little safer now than before we went into lockdown, because a small percentage of people are actually doing what they’re supposed to do to protect people," Warren said.

Even with the spike in cases and hospitalizations, not enough people are getting tested. Dr. Alisa Haushalter, the director of the Shelby County Health Department, said we need to work on limiting the community transmission rate before we move into the next phase.

"These are signs to us that there are significant transmissions within the community, and that moving forward would put more people at risk," Haushalter said.

"Once we get a vaccine or some treatment then we’ll be able to go back to shaking hands and doing stuff, but it’s going to be a while," Warren said.

The health department did not give a date for when Phase 3 could begin. This phase would allow for an increased capacity for places such as restaurants, gyms, and retail stores.

Doctors will have to look at data for the coming weeks to determine when it is safe to enter the next phase.

RELATED: Mid-South coronavirus live updates: All Shelby County municipalities to remain in Phase 2 of Back to Business Plan

RELATED: Shelby County pushing back Phase 3 of "Back to Business" plan

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