National lockdown. A member of the Biden coronavirus task force says a 4-to-6 week lockdown “could get the pandemic under control in time for a vaccine.” During the campaign, Biden said he would “shut down the virus, not the country.” The AP says Biden faces a “tough choice.”
Vaccine inadequacy. Dr. Fauci says social distancing and masks will be needed even after a vaccine is available.
Mask protection. Updated guidance released by the CDC on Tuesday says masks also protect mask wearers, not just those around them, by providing “filtration for personal protection.” The new guidance cites studies showing that masks reduce the risk of transmitting or catching the virus by more than 70%.
Vanderbilt study. A study by The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine shows Tennessee counties without mask mandates have higher COVID-19 death rates. The report stresses that this is a correlation and “the observed relationships between hospitalizations, deaths, and mask requirements is about a set of behaviors, including but not limited to masking.”
Also in the news this week:
- The City of Germantown voted 3-2 to ask Gov. Lee for a statewide mandate.
- The $51 million field hospital in Memphis is “ready,” except for the medical staff who would be needed to run it; there aren’t enough nurses.
- Study: Temperature checks, symptom screenings not very effective in detecting COVID-19 infections
- The Shelby County Health Department had to close facilities after positive COVID-19 cases among employees.
This week. Below we check in on the local numbers.