Covid-19 Strikethrough


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Shelby County is now vaccinating everyone ages 12 & up!

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COVID-19 Guidelines

July 29, 2021

Ms. Dorcas Young Griffin, Shelby County Division of Community Services, updates the community on support services available for housing stability.
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COVID-19 Vaccination in Shelby County

Shelby County is now vaccinating all adults ages 12 & up. Get the facts and get vaccinated against COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

See our full list of frequently asked questions here.

Is the Shelby County Health Department administering the COVID-19 vaccine?

The Shelby County Health Department has conferred with the state and at no time have they requested that Shelby County Health Department employees cease administering vaccines. SCHD’s nurses and other personnel are permitted to continue their important work and public service in administering vaccines, notwithstanding corrective actions with respect to vaccine management and related functions.

What kind of vaccine is the COVID-19 vaccine?

Two of the COVID-19 vaccines—Pfizer and Moderna—are a new type of vaccine, called mRNA vaccines. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies. More about mRNA vaccines here:

The Johnson & Janssen vaccine is a different kind of vaccine, called a viral vector vaccine. Viral vector vaccines use a modified version of a different virus (the vector) to deliver important instructions to our cells. The benefit of viral vector vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19. More about viral vector vaccines here:

Is the vaccine safe?

Yes. No serious side effects have been observed. Some people who have received the vaccine experienced headache, tiredness, or had some redness and soreness where they received the vaccine. These are not unusual signs and symptoms for any vaccine and usually go away within a couple of days. There are several systems in place to make sure any side effects from the vaccine are reported and documented. The COVID-19 vaccines will be monitored to ensure their safety.

The CDC has set up a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Through v-safe, you can quickly tell CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more and register here:

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?

No. It is not possible to get the virus from the vaccine.

Why are two vaccinations necessary?

While one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine appears to offer protection against the virus, it takes two doses of the vaccine for the body to develop optimal immunity to the virus. For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is required within 21 days of the first dose. For the Moderna vaccine, the second dose is required within 28 days. For the Johnson & Janssen vaccine, only one dose is required.

Does the first dose of the vaccine provide any protection from the virus?

There is data regarding the Moderna vaccine that indicates the first dose of vaccine provides up to 80% immunity against the virus. The first dose, combined with second dose provides at least 94% immunity.

How will I know when to get the second dose?

When you get your first dose, you will receive a card with the date of your first dose, the product name/manufacturer of the vaccine you just received, and the date on which you should receive your second dose. Note that your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine must be from the same product name/manufacturer as your first dose. We recommend when you receive your card, take a picture as a back-up, and add the date to your calendar. Some providers may send reminders via text or email.

What happens if a person is late getting their second dose of vaccine?

There is not much known yet about the impact of a late second dose on immunity, but people should receive the second dose, even if it is late.

If I get COVID-19 after getting the first dose of vaccine, but before getting the second dose, do I wait to get the second dose?

Get the second dose after you recover from the illness and you have completed your period of isolation.

How can I protect myself against COVID until I can get the vaccine?

It may be months before the vaccine is made available to the general population of Shelby County. In the interim, continue the preventive steps that are proven to reduce transmission of the virus:

  1. Per Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order #70, do not hold indoor gatherings of more than 10 persons
  2. Per Safer at Home Health Directive No. 16, stay home as much as possible between December 26, 2020 and January 22, 2021
  3. Keep at least 6 feet of separation between yourself and others from outside of your household
  4. Wear a mask or facial covering whenever you are in public or with people from outside your household
  5. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, and use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available
  6. Stay home from work, school, shopping or social activities if you are sick
  7. Get tested. COVID-19 testing is free and available to anyone with or without symptoms at convenient community testing sites around Shelby County. Click here for the list of community testing sites.

Where can I find the health directives for Shelby County?

The Shelby County Health Department is committed to providing our community with the most accurate information about Coronavirus Disease 2019, known as COVID-19. This includes the most current Health Directive from The Shelby County Public Health Department, frequently asked questions, and other resources.

Stay up-to-date with the latest health directives for Shelby County by clicking here.

How many positive COVID-19 cases have there been in Shelby County?

The Shelby County Health Department is committed to providing our community with the most accurate information about Coronavirus Disease 2019, known as COVID-19.  The number changes daily.

You can find the most up-to-date numbers by clicking here.

Can I get a COVID-19 test in Shelby County?

Yes. If you feel you need to be tested, appointments are available across Shelby County for free COVID-19 testing. If you suspect that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms, please call your healthcare provider, the Shelby County COVID-19 hotline: 833-943-1658, or contact one of the available testing sites to make an appointment.

Do call a doctor’s office or healthcare center for COVID-19 testing prior to arriving to confirm whether you need an appointment. If you intend to visit an emergency department for testing or treatment do call ahead to notify them first.

Why is it important to get a Flu Shot now, during the pandemic?

Get Your Flu Shot

Preventing flu is important because it is possible to get sick with the flu and COVID-19 at the same time which could lead to a more serious illness because your body would be weakened. While the flu shot does not prevent COVID-19, its protection against flu can make a COVID-19 infection less severe.

For both the flu and COVID-19, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions are more susceptible, but because the flu also impacts children and spreads readily in schools, it is important for people in all age groups to get a flu vaccine.

Can you have Coronavirus if you don't feel sick?

Yes. COVID-19 can be spread by asymptomatic people — those who do not have symptoms and may not even know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear masks in public settings and practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from other people).

Is there any evidence that wearing a mask prevents the spread of COVID-19?

Yes. Masks are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows masks reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. Masks are recommended for people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor locations. The CDC now says people who are fully vaccinated need not wear masks when around other people either indoors or outdoors, because their risk of spreading COVID-19 virus to others is very low.

Who should not wear a mask?

Masks should not be worn by:
  • Children younger than 3 years old (before their 3rd birthday)
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance

See more from the CDC about considerations of mask wearing.

Why is it important to social-distance from others?

Coronavirus is spread mainly from person to person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). By maintaining at least 6-feet away from others, you reduce your risk of contracting Coronavirus, or spreading it to others if you have been infected.

What does "comorbidities" mean?

People with certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illness have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. When an individual with any of these underlying conditions contracts COVID-19, their preexisting condition, or “comorbidity,” increases the chances of severe symptoms and even death.

In Shelby County, 94% of deaths related to COVID-19 have had a preexisting condition — or comorbidity. People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:

Learn more at

Early Treatment for COVID-19

An effective early treatment is available for persons who test positive and have the following risk factors:

  • Anyone over age 12 with obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or whose immunity is compromised by disease or prescription treatments.
  • Anyone age 12-17 with sickle cell disease; neuromuscular disorder; dependence on medical intervention, such as a breathing or feeding tube; or a lung disorder such as asthma that requires daily medication.
  • Anyone over age 55 with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, COPD or other chronic respiratory disease.
  • Anyone over age 65.

If you test positive, and have any of these risk factors, ask your health care provider about early COVID-19 treatments.


We have compiled information on county-wide resources to help aid Shelby County residents and businesses.

Job Opportunities

Containing COVID-19 has created an urgent need for dozens of people to be trained to identify infected individuals and track down anyone and everyone that could have exposed to the virus. Shelby County needs your help. Learn more by clicking below.


Meet Your Shelby County Joint Task Force Team

Mayor Lee Harris

Mayor of Shelby County

LaSonya Harris Hall, MPA, PhD

Interim Director of Shelby County Health Department

and many more…

Check back again for future updates.

Focus on the CO that really matters: Community.