Covid-19 Strikethrough


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COVID-19 Guidelines

February 27, 2021

Doug McGowen, COO, City of Memphis, answers reporters’ questions regarding changes in appointments for COVID-19 vaccine.

Testing Within Shelby County

If you think you may have been exposed or simply feel you need to be tested, appointments are available across Shelby County for free COVID-19 testing. You do not have to have symptoms to get tested and you do not need a doctor’s referral.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

See our full list of frequently asked questions here.

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 and is on the incline.

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.

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

About the COVID-19 Vaccine

With so much discussion about the COVID-19 vaccines, it is important to arm yourself with credible information from public health experts.


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

Director Alisa Haushalter

Director of Shelby County Health Department

and many more…

Check back again for future updates.

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