First TN Case of Coronavirus Detected in Williamson County

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A Williamson County resident has tested positive for the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19), Gov. Bill Lee announced Thursday. The patient tested positive for the virus Wednesday, March 4.

This was the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Tennessee.

The patient is a 44-year-old man who recently traveled out of state. Battle Ground Academy (BGA) in Franklin has confirmed that the patient is a parent of a BGA student. He is currently quarantined at home. The Tennessee Department of Health is working to determine to which states he traveled. The patient is said to be experiencing mild symptoms isolated himself at his home when he began to feel sick.

An estimated 10 people have been tested for coronavirus in Tennessee.

Gov Bill Lee says this is a serious situation but reminds Tennesseans to keep this illness in perspective.

The overall risk to the general public remains low, says Dr. Lisa Piercey of the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH). Dr. Piercey reminds Tennesseans that most patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. A smaller number of patients have severe symptoms requiring hospitalization. COVID-19 is not currently widespread in the United States, so no additional precautions are recommended for the general public to take beyond normal practices to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Stay away from people who are sick

Related: WCS & Department of Health Provide Information on Coronavirus

Background on Coronavirus (from the CDC)

CDC is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern. On January 31, 2020, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19.

Preventative Measures

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).

If you are a resident in a community where person-to-person spread of COVID-19 has been detected and you develop COVID-19 symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms.

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Andrea Hinds
Andrea has always loved the written word. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and a Masters in Creative Writing, both from Belmont University. Both sides of her family have lived in Williamson County for generations, so writing for Williamson Source is the perfect fit. She loves to hear stories of what Williamson County was like when her parents and grandparents were young and to write about this ever evolving county is truly special for her.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Question: how do you know if you should be tested? It sounds like the symptoms are no different than a cold or flu. Is there anything more specific that would make a person think they should be tested? If I get a cold/flu symptoms, is there a specific number of days I should wait to be tested for the virus?

  2. CDC’s website currently advises people: “Call your healthcare professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.”

    CDC’s testing guidance includes three types of people:
    1. Those who have symptoms such as fever OR lower respiratory symptoms (cough or shortness of breath) and have had “close contact” with a confirmed coronavirus patient within 14 days of their first symptoms.
    2. Those who have fever AND lower respiratory symptoms, require hospitalization, and have traveled to areas impacted by the epidemic in the last 14 days.
    3. Patients with fever and severe acute lower respiratory symptoms who require hospitalization and for whom no other diagnosis has been found — such as the flu. No travel or contact exposure is needed.

    In other words, if you are a healthy person with cold symptoms and aren’t sick enough for hospitalization, STAY HOME, call your doctor and they will help you decide if you should be tested.

  3. In addition to learning which states he traveled to, we should learn where he went when he came back?

  4. Department of health is looking to see which state he traveled to shouldn’t be that hard most people are posting an checking in on Facebook Everytime they travel an go on trips

  5. That kind of information isn’t going to be released as it’s a violation of HIPPA and patient privacy. It’s logical we should want to know in order to prevent the spread of the virus, however my spouse works in emergency services, and they aren’t even given that information. Yes this is a serious virus, but also people have a tendency to overreact and panic or call 911 at any symptom. This only uses up and wastes the resources for those that are truly sick and in need. Following the medical professionals advice (when you find a good one), and a little common sense, goes a long way.

  6. My Frustration:
    The U.S. knew about coronavirus in early Jan 2020; and knew that it could be a threat . Why are we just now scrambling to get the tests kits out? Why are our medical centers not prepared? We should be testing children in schools; tests at workplace (like we have for flu shots). Why not test the people who think they are healthy? Where ever large groups of healthy people gather, tests should be available. Why only 10 people in TN have been tested? If someone from Williamson County can get this virus, then no one is safe. Why are officials waiting until someone comes to them sick with symptoms before they will test? Testing only people who have the symptoms is like “closing the barn door after cow got out”. Meaning that once you have found out you have the virus, you realize that you have already spread it to others. The only way you can minimize the transmission of the virus is to quickly identify individuals before they transmit it to others.

  7. I just wanna know if he spent cash on anything an where he might have been like stores etc I dont wanna harass the man I just wanna know that my family and everyone else are safe enough I dont live that far away and really wouldnt enjoy anyone getting the virus I pray for him an his family but he has risked others now

Comments are closed.