MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby county Commissioner Tami Sawyer has actually formally request to go back to phase one of the county’s reopening arrangement after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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In an email to Shelby County mayor Lee Harris and also the health department Monday, Sawyer writes, “It feels the transitions are triggered by the ‘back to business’ model and also not the all at once capacity the our county to be safe from COVID19.”

“The number we witnessed this weekend, indigenous record new cases come hospitalizations, say to me the we have actually moved as well fast,” to write Sawyer.


She cites a media report that countless grocery stores and also restaurants space not complying with the health and wellness department’s security precautions. She asks that the ar either go back to phase one or modify step two.


ShelbyTNHealth make a decision to return to Phase 1 and/or modify phase 2 to incorporate stronger protections because that our health. Businesses should be able to operate yet we have to stop the spread of COVID19 in Shelby County. Pic.twitter.com/wUyc3PbWRp

— Tami Sawyer (

Speaking to WMC activity News 5 Monday, Sawyer said it’s not around shutting businesses down.

“It is about reducing the number of people who deserve to be within a business,” claimed Sawyer. “It is around adding teeth to the mask ordinance.”

Harris tweeted his an answer Monday afternoon, saying the county has actually twice delay the relocate to step three and also it’s prepared to go back to phase one if necessary.


“There is most likely no ar in Tennessee that has actually moved as slowly and also as closely as Memphis and also Shelby County, and also we are ready to do also more,” write Harris. “If necessary, we are ready to also return to step 1. However, if everyone will continue to perform their part to slow-moving the spread of COVID-19, we can avoid returning to phase 1. We are all in this together.”


We have received a inquiry to take into consideration returning to phase 1. You re welcome see below for mine statement. Pic.twitter.com/eLTplRS5YC

— mayor Lee Harris (

Last week, the health department an initial delayed the anticipated relocate to phase 3 after rises in cases and hospitalizations. Climate over the weekend, Shelby County collection a brand-new record because that its highest possible single-day situation increase with 385.

“When you see those trends, those really worry you, yes sir no question,” stated Dr. Steve Threlkeld, infectious disease specialist in ~ Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.

Threlkeld says the existing trajectory is troubling.


With an additional 210 brand-new cases reported Monday, over there are currently 8,094 total instances in Shelby County and 164 deaths, and also the county reported its greatest weekly trial and error positivity rate so far at 11.7 percent.

A graph from the wellness department mirrors the positivity price steadily raising over the last five weeks -- about the exact same time phase two began.

Health officials to speak they want to remain listed below 10-percent positivity.

“When the price is 10 or above, we need to do much more testing since you’re no finding every one of the cases,” claimed Threlkeld.


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COVID-19 testing positivity price in Shelby County, June 22(Source: SCHD)

Memphis market Jim Strickland states Memphians must do an ext to slow the spread of COVID-19, and also now is a crucial juncture.

“If we continue to increase at this pace, it won’t be lengthy until our hospitals room overrun, therefore this is a turning point,” stated Strickland. “We deserve to really execute something around it.”

Shelby County health Department manager Dr. Alisa Haushalter spoke to commissioners Monday afternoon, speak the ar would continue to be in phase 2 until additional notice. There is no referral at this time about phase three.

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In phase 2 of the Shelby County’s back-to-business plan, restaurants, sleeve stores, public buildings, churches and gyms can operate at 50 percent capacity v social distancing requirements. Under phase one, volume drops to 25 for many businesses while rather cannot operate.