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Sharp increase in COVID cases reported in Shelby County

The COVID testing capacity in Shelby County is currently strained by high demand and limited testing kits availability.

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — A significant increase in COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Shelby County since the holiday weekend. 

According to the Shelby County Health Department and COVID-19 Joint Task Force the increases appear to be linked to the Omicron variant.

Shelby County COVID-19 data summary over the holiday weekend:

Friday, December 24, 2021:

  • New Cases: 1,288 (up from 776 reported December 23, 2021)
  • New Pediatric Cases: 260 (up from 193 reported on December 23, 2021)
  • Reported cases per day (7-day average): 559 cases per day (up from 414 cases per day on December 23, 2021)
  • Test positivity rate: 8.6% (up from 7.9% on December 23, 2021)

Saturday, December 25, 2021:

  • New Cases: 1301
  • New Pediatric Cases: 293
  • Reported cases per day (7-day average): 693
  • Test positivity rate: 9.2%

Sunday, December 26, 2021:

  • New Cases: 963
  • New Pediatric Cases: 199
  • Reported cases per day (7-day average): 778
  • Test positivity rate: 12.0% 

Monday, December 27, 2021:

  • New Cases: 1540
  • New Pediatric Cases: 281
  • Reported cases per day (7-day average): 944
  • Test positivity rate: 15.2% 

Tuesday, December 28, 2021:

  • New Cases: 406
  • New Pediatric Cases: 64
  • Reported cases per day (7-day average): 956
  • Test positivity rate: 18.5%

RELATED: Here are the most common omicron symptoms being reported

SCHD said, Tuesday's numbers appear to be low, but, that is likely due to the mass testing site closures over the holiday weekend.  Also, the home rapid tests are not included in the health department's data.

The COVID testing capacity in Shelby County is currently strained by high demand and limited testing kits availability. 

To protect the healthcare system for those who need it most, it's important to follow these guidelines:

  • Do not go to hospital emergency rooms for COVID-19 testing if you are asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms. Emergency rooms are for those with severe symptoms only at this time.
  • If someone in your home has tested positive recently, treat it as if everyone in the home is positive. All people in the home should isolate for 5 days, per the most recent CDC guidelines:
  • If you are experiencing mild upper respiratory symptoms, stay home. Do not go to work or school, or attend holiday parties or family gatherings.

Shelby County Health Department has a list of COVID-19 testing sites on its website, which is updated frequently.

The Shelby County COVID Joint Task Force is working to expand testing.

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