Task force officials announced Monday morning Phase II of the Back to Business plan would begin Monday, allowing for more businesses to re-open and for some already-opened business to increase capacity.
The news was expected at today's daily task force press briefing. But it was delivered early in the daily coronavirus update figures form the Shelby County Health Department.
Task force officials said the decision was based on data from four criteria they watch to monitor the growth of the virus in Shelby County: the growth in new cases, health care systems capacity, public health system capacity, and testing capacity.
Here's what local leaders said about the decision.
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris:
“I am grateful for the hard work and many sacrifices of the residents of Shelby County. We have seen encouraging results because of a collective willingness to do all that we can to reduce the spread and embrace new skills, like social distancing.
Although we still have a long way to go in Shelby County's fight against COVID-19, we have made substantial progress and are therefore prepared to enter Phase 2. We all played a role in getting to this important mile marker. We all have a role to play to get to the next one.”
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland:
“Over the last 14 days, we’ve been closely monitoring the data. Based on the opinion of our medical experts, we are ready to move to Phase ll of our Back to Business plan, allowing more Memphians [to get] back to work in a safer way.”
Bartlett Mayor Keith McDonald:
“With the necessary precautions we have made the improvements needed to move to Phase II. I am happy more people can get back to work.”
Collierville Mayor Stan Joyner:
“Thanks to citizens diligence in social distancing, staying at home, wearing mask[s], and the other things you have done to protect yourselves and others, we are able to move to Phase II. Keep up the good work!”
The health department will soon issue a new health directive with new orders and recommendations for people and businesses for Phase II. Look for the directive here
The rate of positive coronavirus rose slightly in Shelby County from Sunday to Monday.
New numbers from the Shelby County Health Department showed 42 new cases of the virus from 688 tests given yesterday. That put the county's positivity rating for Saturday at around 6.1 percent, up from 4.4 percent on Saturday. The county has averaged a positivity rate of about 7.2 percent since the virus arrived here in March.
One new death were recorded Sunday. So far, 85 have died here from the virus.