Significant drop-off of new tests maintains declining positivity rate

By , Daily Memphian Updated: May 09, 2020 12:33 PM CT | Published: May 09, 2020 12:30 PM CT
<strong>National Guard medics and University of Tennessee Health Science Center staff collect nasal swabs as hundreds of people seek testing for COVID-19 at the Christ Community testing site in Hickory Hill on Wednesday, May 6.</strong> (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian)

National Guard medics and University of Tennessee Health Science Center staff collect nasal swabs as hundreds of people seek testing for COVID-19 at the Christ Community testing site in Hickory Hill on Wednesday, May 6. (Mark Weber/Daily Memphian)

The reported number of new cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County has been less than 100 for a fifth consecutive day, according to daily updates from the Shelby County Health Department.

However, the number of new tests administered throughout the county took a sharp decline Friday and Saturday.


Coronavirus live blog, May 9: County reports 27 new cases of COVID-19, one death


As local health officials set a benchmark of 1,000 new tests per day, with the help of outreach to the public, Shelby County has proven its capacity to string together several consecutive days in which as many as 1,400 people have sought and completing screening for COVID-19. As those figures have proven stable, such as they did in four consecutive days this week, it has not come without the occasional outlier day.

Between Friday, May 8, and Saturday, May 9, only 616 tests were administered in Shelby County.

At a rate of 4.3% positivity, 27 of those tests returned as positive diagnoses for COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 8.05% of the total 38,961 people tested in Shelby County have been confirmed as positive.

In the county, 67 people have died from the novel coronavirus, an increase of one new death since the health department reported its numbers on Friday morning.

Shelby County has confirmed that 1,852 people have recovered from COVID-19, leaving 1,221 people currently considered to still be living with the virus.

In 2,377 cases of positive patients, racial data was retrieved that can aid health officials in understanding the demographic makeup of those impacted by COVID-19. African American patients make up the largest category of those patients, at 1,616 people or 68%. White patients account for 537 or 22.6% of those patients. People who identify as “other” make up 224 of those patients, at 9.4%. There is incomplete racial data for 736 more people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the county.

As of Saturday morning, 14,441 cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed by the Tennessee Department of Health, an increase of 345 since the day prior. Statewide, 241 people have died from complications of COVID-19, 7,011 have recovered and 1,299 people are currently hospitalized.

 Editor’s Note: The Daily Memphian is making our coronavirus coverage accessible to all readers — no subscription needed. Our journalists continue to work around the clock to provide you with the extensive coverage you need; if you can subscribe, please do

Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd is an arts and culture columnist at The Daily Memphian and program manager for WYXR 91.7 FM. His friends call him "Jay B.," and you can, too.


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