New COVID-19 cases continue to fall throughout the Mid-South
New COVID-19 cases continue to fall throughout the Mid-South

New COVID-19 cases continue to fall throughout the Mid-South

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations that reached record or near-record levels at the height of the omicron rise continue to decline in all three Mid-South states and Shelby County.

Shelby County reported 298 new cases on Monday.

Director of the Shelby County Health Department (SCHD), Dr. Michelle Taylor, said the declining numbers are encouraging.

“All the numbers are going in the right direction,” Taylor said.

But doctors said it was important to remember that the pandemic is not over.

Dr. Stephen Threlkeld, an expert in infectious diseases, said Mid-Southerners should continue to practice common sense when they go out.

“I think the idea is to be sensible. Do not be around people in large numbers, cramped in areas with poor airflow indoors, ”said Threlkeld, who noted that he still encourages people to wear masks in certain environments.

This weekend, Arkansas reported 88 more deaths from COVID-19, though a spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Health said most of the deaths occurred sometime in the last 30 days and were only now reported.

In response to the deaths, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said in part, “We have lost too many Arkansans, and unless we increase vaccinations, we will have even more.”

Recent vaccination figures show that 53% of Arkansans and Tennesseans are fully vaccinated, as are 51% of Mississippians, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Shelby County, 51% of people are fully vaccinated, according to the SCHD.

“We would prefer to be north of 70%,” Taylor said.

Shelby County is stepping up efforts to get more people vaccinated.

It opened new vaccination sites and hosted a vaccination event targeting Latin Americans over the weekend.

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