COVID-19 update

It’s alive. The SCHD has “not cancelled Halloween.”

Close encounters. The CDC has redefined what counts as close contact with someone infected with COVID-19 to now include “shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.”

The definition change was triggered by a report on that case of a 20-year-old Vermont correctional officer, who was diagnosed with a coronavirus infection in August. The guard, who wore a mask and goggles, had multiple brief encounters with six transferred prisoners before test results showed they were positive. At times, the prisoners wore masks, but there were encounters in cell doorways or in a recreational room where prisoners did not have them on, the report said. An investigation that reviewed video footage concluded the guard’s brief interactions totaled 17 minutes during an 8-hour shift.

Everything right. Italy is once again getting hammered despite aggressive mask mandates, social distancing and lockdowns.

What’s particularly troubling about the return of COVID in Italy is that the country has done everything experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have been advising. Face masks in public places have been compulsory for months, social distancing is strongly enforced, nightclubs have never reopened, and sporting arenas are at less than a third of capacity. Children who are back at school are regularly tested and strictly social-distanced, and yet, the second wave seems completely unstoppable.

Social censoring. Social media companies are censoring speech by experts who question the level of protection offered by masks.

Back to school. Shelby County Schools “could reopen in January.”

Winter wave. Some local health professionals fear “what could be a tsunami of new cases” in the colder months ahead.

Approved treatment. The FDA gave approval to the first treatment for COVID-19: the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir).

Mouthwash study. “A new study conducted by researchers at the Penn State College of Medicine has found that a common dental item can inactivate human coronaviruses: mouthwash and oral rinses.”

New website. The Tennessee Department of health has launched a new website for COVID-19 information:

This week: Below, we check in on the local numbers.

Shelby County

New cases, last 30 days
New cases, all dates
All cases, all dates
Active cases, last 30 days
Tests and % positive
Daily and cumulative positivity rate (logarithmic scale)
New cases and tests (logarithmic scale)
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 10/21
Case fatality rate by sex as of 10/21
Case fatality rate by race as of 10/21

Source: Shelby County Health Department