Delta variant confirmed in Shelby County
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Health Department confirmed 10 new cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant as of Sunday June 13.
The Health Department has also identified 14 more probable cases through contact tracing. These individuals have no history of traveling outside of the United States, but have been associated with those who have tested positive for the the Delta variant.
This particular strain of is 50 percent easier to transmit than the Alpha variant that is presently the dominant strain in Shelby County.
“The Delta variant is the most infectious and most easily transmitted version of COVID-19 yet discovered. The fact that we have detected it here in Shelby County serves to remind us all that the COVID-19 pandemic has not ended. If you are eligible to be vaccinated, but have not received a vaccine, please do so as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are available at no cost to you and vaccination offers the best protection against the Delta variant and the other variants circulating in the community,” said Shelby County Health Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph.
The number of confirmed Delta variant cases is expected to increase as contact tracing cases are tested.
The Health Department reported 12 new cases and one new death Tuesday morning. Daily case reports have decreased in recent weeks with the health department reporting more days with less than 100 new cases.
SCHD says the weekly rolling average of COVID-19 cases in Shelby County is at 38 as of Saturday.
There are currently 396 active cases in the county. The active case count has remained below 1,000 since Friday, May 28 and has continued to drop each day.
Shelby County has had 99,335 cases and 1,682 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
A total of 655,255 vaccines have been administered with 372,528 people now fully vaccinated. The county’s goal is 700,000 to reach herd immunity.
The health department reported another drop in test positivity rate last week. The most recent data for the week ending June 6 shows a 3.6 percent test positivity rate -- down from seven percent a month earlier and the previous week at 4.5 percent. It peaked at 17.9 percent in the first few days of the year.
Directive 22 went into effect this past weekend and drops all mask restrictions for both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents. Businesses and restaurants are still able to require customers to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.
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