The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County has tripled to 30 as of Friday afternoon, according to the Shelby County Health Department.
Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department, said the significant jump in cases is due to new testing results being reported to the department by commercial labs.
“For all you listening, that seems like a very significant jump from yesterday, when we reported 10,” Haushalter said. “What’s important to remember is that 15 of those tests were ones not reported and that were reported late yesterday.”
With the increase in confirmed cases, Haushalter said, “We’re beginning to see transmission in different areas.”
Haushalter offered no further information about the 20 new patients.
“What you would anticipate next, is much more transmission in social settings, so more broadly — grocery stores, bars, restaurants, and so on,” Haushalter said. “So as of today Mayor [Lee] Harris is seriously considering what he can do as county mayor to reduce transmission in our county.”
As of Friday afternoon, there were 228 confirmed cases in the state. Nearly half — 101 — of those cases are in Davidson County.
Shelby County Schools (SCS) superintendent Joris Ray said it was confirmed Friday that a central nutrition services employee for SCS has tested positive for COVID-19.
The district is working to determine who the affected employee was in contact with at SCS facilities.
Ray said due to this development and because “there are so many unknown factors about the spread of the virus,” SCS is suspending all planned meal preparation and community-wide distribution indefinitely.
“Our earnest intentions to bridge the gap of food insecurities during this crisis have been abruptly altered by the spread of the virus,” Ray said, “and we are deeply saddened by this development, Nevertheless, Memphis and Shelby County, we cannot allow our children to go hungry.”
Ray called on city and county government, as well as community partners to “lean in and provide urgent support and food resources for our children.”