Health Department Hints at Reopening Limited Service Restaurants


Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph - CITY OF MEMPHIS/FACEBOOK
  • City of Memphis/Facebook
  • Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph

Here are the highlights from today’s COVID-19 Task Force briefing:

Opening up?
Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) Officer Dr. Bruce Randolph hinted at changes coming soon that could open some businesses that are now closed.

The move comes from two weeks of data trends that show flat or falling rates of the virus in Shelby County. However, cases have risen since the Labor Day weekend holiday. SCHD will watch the new data and Randolph said he could announce a change in the health directive later this week or early next week.

The change? When asked about this specifically, Randolph was a bit cryptic.

“I get numerous call from businesses, from limited service restaurants,” Randolph said. "I want to tell those owners that I hear you and understand the sacrifice you’ve made and we will address that in some form or fashion.

“Understand that things are not going to go back to the way they were prior to closure. It is very likely that all restaurants — whether full service or limited — will be held to the same requirements as it relates to safety measures and how you operate. There will be more to come based on the data we get the rest of this week.”

University of Memphis Clusters
David Sweat, SCHD’s Chief of Epidemiology - CITY OF MEMPHIS/FACEBOOK
  • City of Memphis/Facebook
  • David Sweat, SCHD’s Chief of Epidemiology

David Sweat, SCHD’s Chief of Epidemiology, said two virus clusters have been identified at the U of M. One is the football team.

Sweat said he could not divulge details on the other cluster, only that they “share activities and train together.” Asked whether or not it was another sports team, Sweat said the cluster was still under investigation and could not give more details.

In all, there are now 36 coronavirus cases under investigation at the U of M.

The Numbers

Data nerds and virus watchers got a new number Tuesday. Shelby County is now getting the total number of tests given here from the Tennessee Department of Health.

The new number includes all tests given, even to those tested numerous times. In today’s report, that bumped up the 272,020 test reported Monday to 404,062. So, 272,020 people had been tested as of yesterday. Together, the group got 404,062 tests.

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