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COVID-19 weekly update

Executive orders. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee has extended the state of emergency through September with three executive orders that 1. allow county mayors to maintain mask mandates, 2. allow local governments to continue meeting electronically, and 3. allow for remote notarization of documents.

Going remote. Collierville High School is going to remote learning for two weeks following 5 reported cases.

School reports. The Shelby County Health Department will report cases of COVID-19 by school district but not by individual school.

Media database. The Commercial Appeal is asking parents, teachers and students to contribute reports of cases in individual schools to a database it has created.

Now for this week’s numbers.

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COVID-19 weekly update

In the news this week…

School starts… The bulk of Shelby County’s municipal school districts began their school year on Monday with plenty of uncertainty in the air.

…But for how long? Some state leaders said schools will run into challenges staying open.

School reports. The Shelby County Health Department said it will not release COVID-19 cases in schools.

Childhood trauma. The so-called “secondary effects” of the pandemic continue to rise, with reports of higher instances of depression, mental illness, violence, abuse and neglect.

Wellness checks. The state’s guidance for school districts in discovering and reporting child trauma came under scrutiny, causing the Department of Education to walk it back. But the governor and members of the Child Wellbeing Task Force continued to defend it.

Media access. Local journalists were outraged because Collierville High School denied media access to a football game. Imagine being told you can’t go somewhere or do your job. It turns out such orders can be upsetting. Who would have thought? Welcome to the club, media!

Now for this week’s numbers.

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COVID-19 weekly update

If you have questions for the Shelby County Health Department, this week you can ask them directly.

The department’s director, Dr. Alisa Haushalter, joins me for a virtual town hall on Thursday, August 20, at 6 p.m.

Here are this week’s numbers.

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COVID-19 weekly update

Tripwires. This week the Shelby County Health Department and the COVID-19 Task Force introduced “tripwires” to determine how restrictions will be implemented or lifted.

The full details on the tripwires, as well as new guidance on athletics, is part of Health Directive #10.

Improvement. New cases are trending down at the national, state and local levels for the first time since mid-May.

In addition, the number of current cases is falling in Shelby County, and Tennessee’s current cases have plateaued.

Here are this week’s numbers.

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COVID-19 weekly update

This week Herman Cain fell victim to complications of COVID-19, becoming one of the most high-profile Americans taken by the virus.

Cain, 74, was a one-time presidential candidate and for a time led the field in the 2012 Republican primary. Born in Memphis, Cain was a successful businessman and public servant.

Cain’s age and previous battle with cancer in 2006 may have placed him at higher risk. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus in late June and, due to breathing troubles, was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he died four weeks later.