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Posted on: March 8, 2020

Case of Coronavirus COVID-19 Detected in Shelby County

SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department has received confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Health that a Shelby County resident has tested positive for the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, and samples have also been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for additional testing.

The patient is currently in good condition and under treatment in isolation at Baptist Memorial Hospital. The individual who tested positive had recently traveled out of state, but not out of the country. No further details about this case will be shared to protect patient privacy.

Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter said, “The Shelby County Health Department has been planning and preparing for the possibility of a case of COVID-19 since community spread of the virus was first reported in the United States. The Health Department’s efforts are now focused on tracing contacts of this case and limiting the spread of the virus in Shelby County.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

The immediate risk to the general public in Shelby County is thought to be low, and there is no immediate risk to school-age children. But now is the time to prepare for the possibility of local community transmission of the virus.

Members of the general public should take simple steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:

  • Washing hands with liquid soap and water, and rubbing for at least 20 seconds, or using alcohol-based sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing;
  • Staying home if you are sick, especially with respiratory symptoms.
  • Regularly cleaning surfaces touched by many people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that older persons (60 and over) and those with underlying chronic health conditions should stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds. Wearing face masks is not necessary for the general public and may not provide protection from the virus.

If you experience symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing:

  • Avoid public spaces and gatherings
  • Avoid others in your household
  • If medical attention is needed,
  • contact your health care provider before going in for care, and
  • share any history of travel.

Keeping our community healthy and preventing the spread of Covid-19 is a collective responsibility.

We also encourage all Shelby County residents to start thinking about preparedness in the event of local community spread, planning ahead for potential disruption to daily life at work, school, or home. The Health Department is working with partners in health care, education, business, law enforcement and the faith community to prepare.

The Shelby County Health Department has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19 on it’s website: http://shelbytnhealth.com/, which includes important information about the virus and steps individuals, businesses, and community organizations can take to control its spread.

The Health Department has also established a hotline number: 901-692-7523, for specific questions, requests for technical assistance, and requests for speakers at community meetings and events. The number is staffed during regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After-hours calls are returned on the next business day.