COVID-19 update

Learning loss. Tennessee students will suffer severe and long-lasting damage from school closings.

Staying closed. SCS Superintendent Joris Ray says the countywide school system’s return to in-person instruction will be gradual. Earlier this month, Superintendent Ray said school buildings would remain closed until new cases are in the single digits for 14 days — something that has not happened since the first case was reported on March 8. Meanwhile, the Health Department says school re-openings have not resulted in increased pediatric cases.

Athletes denied. SCS students seeking to speak with Supt. Ray in a last ditch effort to save their fall sports season were refused a face-to-face meeting.

Bars reopen. The Shelby County Health Department was unable to prove bars were spreading the virus and allowed them to reopen. This led to criticism that SCHD is being too responsive to economic concerns.

More contagious. A new strain of the virus is reportedly faster spreading and “might be mutating in response to current preventative measures like mask-wearing and social distancing.” In other words, masks don’t prevent the spread. A study of the mutant strain, which is now the dominant one in Houston, was performed by Houston Methodist Research Institute.

Indiscriminate virus. Two governors contracted the virus this week: one supported a mask mandate, and the other did not.

This week. Below are this week’s graphs charting local tests, cases, hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. All data is via the Shelby County Health Department.

Shelby County

New cases, last 30 days
New cases, all dates
All cases, all dates
Active cases, last 30 days
Tests and % positive, last 30 days. The county started reporting repeat tests on 9/15, adding 132,442 tests to the total on that date.
Daily and cumulative positivity rate. See note above about repeat tests.
New cases and tests. See note above about repeat tests.
Active cases and current hospitalizations
Current hospitalizations, last 30 days
Current hospitalizations, all reported dates
Acute care staffed beds, current census and COVID-positive patients
ICU staffed beds, current census and COVID-positive patients
Deaths, last 30 days
All deaths
Case fatality rate by age as of 9/23
Case fatality rate by sex as of 9/23
Case fatality rate by race as of 9/23