Health officials say state of the pandemic is getting worse in SCnty

Shelby County health officials say the state of the pandemic is getting worse in our area.

The Shelby County Health Department reported 37,192 cases Thursday morning, an increase of 188 cases. There are 570 deaths and 2,853 active cases. More than 33,000 people have recovered.

“These are people out and about engaged in their normal day to day activities of life regardless of whether they have symptoms or not,” said Dr. David Sweat, Shelby County Health Department cheif of epidemiology.

Sweat says testing positivity is at 7.2%. He says 78% of the people they interviewed were symptomatic, and of those people, 68% were still taking part in social activities.

This includes having small social gatherings at their home, going to sporting events, and even traveling.

“People who should be staying home, should be isolating and protecting others from coming into the virus that they have in their body and yet they’re out in the world engaged in activities,” Sweat said.

 With Halloween this weekend, health officials encourage people to reconsider their plans. Corporate Director of Infection Prevention with Methodist Le Bonheur Health Care Jackie Morton says she recommends people take part in virtual Halloween events.

“This is not the year to have a Halloween haunted house, parties, or gatherings and that sort of thing,” Morton said.

However, if you do plan on trick or treating, she encourages parents to make sure their kids avoid homes with large crowds. And if you plan on passing out candy, she suggests doing so in a way where you have as little contact with trick or treaters, as possible.

“We don’t want to the next week after Halloween experience another increase in our numbers,” Morton said.

Morton says if you are going to be trick or treating, she encourages you to not wear a costume mask alone. Make sure you have a COVID appropriate face covering too. She says the costume masks are just not as effective.

Hospitalizations are also up, Dr. Cassandra Norman with Baptist Memorial Healthcare said. As of Thursday, they are treating 121 COVID-19 patients across the system – doubling the total number since the start of the month.

Gyms, schools, warehouses, churches and health care settings are seeing a lot of cases.

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