In today’s update, I asked Dr. Manoj Jain, the City’s contracted medical advisor, to share some quick thoughts on the importance of masking.
Below are his thoughts based on a real-life scenario:
Earlier this week, I took my car for regular servicing at a local dealership. Two middle-aged men sat behind the service desk, another a customer (who was wearing a mask) was in front of me and picking up his keys. I stood six feet away with my daughter, who was also masked. When my turn came, I stepped up and then back from the service desk.
The two service managers at the dealership were not wearing a mask. Even before giving the details for the service needs on my car, I asked them “why are you not wearing a mask?”
One serviceman casually replied, “Oh – the owner does not require us to do it.”
“But, that does not matter,” I said. “You should wear a mask. We have community transmission of the virus. COVID-19 is amidst us all, and masking and distancing is the best way to protect ourselves and others.”
Unfortunately, the two servicemen are not alone, and this just one example of many. There are thousands of Memphians who are not wearing masks. Some people do not wear a mask because it is not required by their employer. Some because it is uncomfortable, and some young folks think they are invincible and will not get sick from the virus.
I would strongly urge all of them to reconsider.
Masks do work.
This is not my opinion, but that of the highest scientific agencies around the globe— both the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing a mask in public areas.
Also, the scientific literature supports this. People wonder how much does masking help?
A recent study in a prestigious journal, Lancet, pooled together nearly 40 studies with over 13,000 persons. It found that the chance of viral infection or transmission from coronavirus was 17 percent if no mask was worn. However, if the mask was worn the risk of transmission was reduced to 3 percent. This is nearly a six-fold decline in risk because we protected ourselves.
As we left the dealership my daughter (still in a mask) said, “Dad, I hope they listen to you.”
“Me too,” I said.
More importantly, I hope you see the importance and will listen to me and to Mayor Strickland and choose to wear a mask so as not to infect yourself and those around you.
– Manoj Jain, M.D., M.P.H.
Faculty at University of Tennessee Health Science Center -UTHSC
Faculty at Rollins School of Public Health, Infectious Disease Physician
Medical Advisor to Mayor of Memphis on COVID-19
Consultant to the World Health Organization on Tuberculosis
Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Daily Update: June 25, 2020
|Shelby County Cases||8688|
|Total Tested in Shelby County||116,242|
|Tennessee Total Cases||37,235|
*As of 2:00 p.m. 6/24/20
|Tipton County, TN||571|
|Desoto County, MS||990|
|Crittenden County, AR||621|
|Numbers current as of 10:00 a.m. 6/25/2020|
Shelby County Health Department is tracking clusters in facilities that serve certain vulnerable populations:
Here is information about clusters considered to be resolved. A cluster is considered resolved once a facility has gone 28 days without a new case.
Here is the most recent testing and case information provided by the Shelby County Division of Corrections:
The testing positivity rate is the percentage of all tests conducted that are found to be positive. The chart below shows Shelby County’s testing positivity rates over time, as of June 24, 2020.
Once per week, the Shelby County Health Department shares detailed analysis of COVID-19 cases, including testing and case rate maps:
Below is detailed analysis of cases by age, sex, race and ethnicity:
Here is detailed analysis of pediatric (>18) cases in Shelby County as of 6/24/20:
Below is detailed analysis of COVID-19 fatalities in Shelby County as of 6/24/20, by sex, race, age, exposure and co-morbidities:
Shelby County Health Department has added a data page to its COVID-19 webpage: www.shelbytnhealth.com/coronavirus. It includes information about the geographic distribution of COVID-19 cases in Shelby County.
All of Shelby County, including the municipalities and the unincorporated areas are under Safer at Home orders. Some non-essential businesses may reopen under the guidance of Shelby County Health Directive #4, issued on May 18, 2020, which can be viewed here: www.shelbytnhealth.com/healthdirectives.
For more information about the Safer at Home order or to register concerns, the public may contact:
· The Shelby County Mayor’s Action Line: 901-222-2300
· The Shelby County Health Department’s COVID-19 Hotline: 833-943-1658
· Email email@example.com.