MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Health is keeping a very close eye on COVID-19 cases in Memphis.
Tennessee leaders are pleading with all Mid-Southerners to take coronavirus seriously because Memphis area hospitals are dangerously close to capacity.
Shelby County surpassed 10,000 COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with more than 300 new positive cases reported overnight.
In the month of June, the number of people hospitalized with coronavirus steadily increased to more than 200.
The overflow hospital in the old Commercial Appeal building now on standby and will take 10 days to staff up.
The state’s health commissioner says they are carefully tracking hospital capacity here in case they must activate the emergency surge plan.
“Specifically, in Memphis, it’s something our eyebrows are raised on. We’re watching it. We’re not there yet. It has leveled off in the last couple of days, and so we want to take care of those patients in the hospital. That’s the best place we can, so we still have lots of levers to pull. But we’re watching daily,” said Dr. Lisa Piercey, Tennessee Health Commissioner.
Dr. Piercey says the safest way to celebrate the Fourth of July is to stay home and if you have to go out -- mask up, social distance and wash your hands.