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

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris on COVID-19: "It’s going to be around for the rest of the year and probably for the rest of our lives”

140 health department employees will be working exclusively on fighting COVID-19.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris is worried about the weekend.

In a world filled with COVID-19, it’s hard not to worry. Especially with the spike, with more people testing positive.

Mayor Harris is not alone.

“There’s no doubt about it,” he says, “... the spike is on every municipal mayor’s mind.”

The Mayor says they are doing what they can. The health department just hired 140 people who will only work on COVID. They will work at what was once Vatterott Career College.

“All 140 of those new employees are going to be exclusively devoted to fighting COVID. And so, in addition to that, we will lease a new building, a new facility to house that 140 person COVID team.

Mayor Harris says all of this is part of acknowledging that the coronavirus isn’t going anywhere.

“We’ve got to try into a marathon mode here. That’s what the Director of the Health Department says, and I agree with her - that it’s going to be around for the rest of the year and probably for the rest of our lives.”

Most of the employees at the old Vatterott College location will be doing contact tracing. Their jobs will be to track down anybody who has had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

CITY OF MEMPHIS/SHELBY COUNTY JOINT COVID TASK FORCE UPDATE 7/3/20

CITY OF MEMPHIS/SHELBY COUNTY JOINT COVID TASK FORCE UPDATE 7/3/20

Posted by City of Memphis on Friday, July 3, 2020

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