Shelby County reports third largest increase of new COVID-19 cases

By , Daily Memphian Updated: June 22, 2020 6:13 PM CT | Published: June 22, 2020 12:51 PM CT

Shelby County reported its third-highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases on Monday as the positive cases and community transmission of the virus continue to rise.

The Shelby County Health Department reported 210 new cases on Monday continuing an upward trend and increased concern. Only four times in the past 14 days has the Health Department reported fewer than 100 new cases, though one of those days was Sunday (44 new cases).

Shelby County adds 210 coronavirus cases

Shelby County’s three highest daily increases all occurred in the past week. On June 15, the county reported 256 new cases, then the largest daily increase. The spike in cases on June 15 led officials to delay until further notice a move from Phase 2 to Phase 3 of Memphis and Shelby County’s Back to Business plan.

Five days later, the 385 additional cases reported Saturday surpassed the previous single day record, with Monday’s total now the third-highest jump.

SCHD reports largest increase of new COVID-19 cases

On testing, the health department reported 2,097 tests resulting in a 10% positivity rate. The positive rates on the other two highest daily increase days were 9.9% on June 15 (256 new cases) and 12.3% Saturday (385 additional cases).

The county reported 8,094 cases, 164 deaths and 5,515 recoveries, as of Monday, according to Health Department data. The number of active cases increased from 2,254 to 2,415.

The number of tests administered countywide is 107,828 with a 7.4% positivity rate. While the positivity rate is below the 10% benchmark set by health officials, the rate has increased from 7% to 7.4% since June 15, another indicator of the virus’ increasing community transmission.

The county’s COVID-19 task force is expected to hold a press briefing on Tuesday, June 23 to address the pandemic’s effect locally.

Coronavirus cases have increased in Memphis and Shelby County over the past month as social distancing measures were relaxed. Citizens are encouraged to social distance, wear facial coverings and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer to slow the virus’ spread.

There are an estimated 209 coronavirus patients in local hospitals, according to Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s daily COVID-19 update last Friday. Of the 209 patients, about 88 are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

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Hospitalizations are one of four factors public health and Shelby County mayors look at when evaluating the pandemic’s status locally. The others are new cases over a 14-day period, testing capacity and contact tracing.

An alternate care facility, at 495 Union Ave., can house an additional 400 COVID-19 patients if necessary.

No new deaths due to the virus were reported Monday. Of the 164 deaths, 68 are attributed to outbreaks or clusters at nursing home facilities.

While 11 additional deaths were reported Sunday, health officials classified those deaths as “probable” and they occurred between March 28 and May 18.

A probable death due to COVID-19 is when a health care provider signs the death certificate with coronavirus as the cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death, according to the health department.

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


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Omer Yusuf

Omer Yusuf

Omer Yusuf covers Bartlett and North Memphis neighborhoods for The Daily Memphian. He also analyzes COVID-19 data each week. Omer is a former Jackson Sun reporter and University of Memphis graduate.


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