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Shelby County, TN

Children make up nearly one-third of new COVID cases in Shelby County, health department says

FOX 13 Memphis WHBQ
FOX 13 Memphis WHBQ

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — While the number of active pediatric COVID cases is going down in Shelby County, children have accounted for nearly a third of the county’s new cases in the past week.

The number of kids getting sick has local health leaders concerned. The Shelby County Health Department is starting a new campaign to try to reach families with kids.

The concern is only about 35 percent of children up to age 17 have been vaccinated. The Shelby County Health Department is putting out a new public service announcement to help students reach students.

Shelby Williams is an 11th grader at Harding academy. She is in the new PSA and spoke at Thursday’s COVID task force briefing about the importance of getting vaccinated.

”In order to maintain my health and safety and the health and safety of those around me, I have taken the vaccine. I am a student who is around other students and I come home to younger cousins to get the vaccine and other family members who I could put in harm’s way,” Williams said.

Kaleb Sy is also part of the campaign to get more students vaccinated. He is an 11th grader at East T Stem Academy High School.

”In the wake of the Delta Variant and other variants, it is a necessity that we get the vaccine in addition to mask and social distancing. The vaccine is the safest way to keep yourself safe and others safe.” Sy said.

Find testing locations here.

The push comes as cases start to drop again. But, Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor pointed out kids are still getting sick.

”Pediatric cases remain of great concern to us. There are 119 new pediatric cases today. 11 children ages 17 and younger are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and two are on ventilators. That is a slight improvement from last week when 14 children were hospitalized and 4 ventilated,” Dr. Taylor said.

Some encouraging news: The number of active pediatric COVID cases in the county has dropped 26 percent from two weeks ago.

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