MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – COVID-19 infection rates are once again rising in Shelby County, according to data from the Shelby County Health Department.
Newly confirmed daily cases doubled in just a matter of days, once again reaching the triple digits.
The Shelby County Health Department confirmed 116 new cases on Sunday.
It also reported 102 new cases among children in the past two weeks.
There were 107 active cases among children as of Sunday.
The seven-day average of new daily cases in Shelby County was 72 on Sunday. A week ago it was 41. Two weeks ago it was 33.
The CDC says cases in Shelby County have increased 17% in the last two weeks.
“We’ve seen the numbers tick up in other places across the country and I think we’re starting to see that here,” said Dr. Nick Hysmith, an infectious disease expert at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
He attributes the spike to more people gathering for special occasions like Easter and spring break.
He also blames the new subvariant of omicron, which is more contagious.
“I think that has a lot to do with it. I think just the little bit of laxing in our protocols, which I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing, but I think we’re seeing those effects play in as well,” said Hysmith.
Hysmith expects the infection rate to continue increasing over several weeks as people gather more, including at watch parties to cheer on the Grizzlies in the NBA playoffs.
“I don’t think we need to avoid those types of events,” said Hysmith. “I think we’re all excited about the Grizzlies and I think we should all as a city celebrate that and I think doing those things is great. I think we have to do them responsibly. So if people are sick or they’ve been around someone with COVID maybe stay away from crowded areas.”
There has not been an uptick in hospitalizations or deaths.
The CDC says deaths from COVID-19 in Shelby County are down 71%.
The Shelby County Health Department says the county is 81.5% towards its goal of heard immunity by vaccinating 700,000 people.
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