MEMPHIS, Tenn — The Shelby County Health Department reported 385 new COVID-19 cases bringing the total to 7,840 Saturday. It was the highest spoke of new cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic.
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Manoj Jain, a member of Memphis and Shelby County's Covid-19 Task Force, said there is no data to say the recent protests have contributed to the uptick. He said overall how our community is behaving could be a factor.
"I think that’s what’s driving this number to be so high is that there’s a lot of community transmission which is happening and that’s because people are not taking the necessary precautions," Jain said.
Jain said health experts look at "clusters," like at a jail or workplace, or the community as a whole to determine where cases are stemming from. He explained a few months ago we were more diligent as a community about wearing face masks and social distancing.
"Go back to six to eight weeks ago and look at what you were doing and your behavior was distinctly different from what you are doing now and that’s what’s leading to the increase in cases," Jain said.
As we try to move forward with reopening our economy, Jain said we've had to hit "pause," so we don't have to go back into phase one or lockdown. He believes the recently implemented mask ordinance in Memphis should help with decreasing the spread.
"We need to drill down and look at where they are coming from and then look at what our options are in legislative, enforcement, medical, and then most importantly individual responsibility," Jain said.