First coronavirus case confirmed in Shelby County


A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officials in Memphis and Shelby County on Sunday morning confirmed the area’s first case of novel coronavirus.

An official said the adult patient was being treated at Baptist Hospital and was in good condition. The patient had traveled outside the state, but not outside the country.

Dr. Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department, said the tests came back positive from the state’s lab Saturday and the results will be forwarded to the CDC.

People who came in contact with the patient are being identified and will be quarantined and monitored daily for 14 days, she said.

“From our opinion, there is no risk to the public at large,” Haushalter said.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he had been in touch with Gov. Bill Lee about the case, and that city facilities had been sanitized.

“We’re taking this situation very seriously,” Strickland said.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said the county government had adjusted its policies to allow any workers who might have symptoms of illness to stay home, and he encouraged private employers to do the same.

“We don’t believe there is a need to panic,” Harris said.

This is the third confirmed case of novel coronavirus in Tennessee, So far, in addition to Shelby County, cases have been confirmed in Williamson County and Davidson County.

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