NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVQ/WKRN) — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee confirmed the first case of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the state at a press conference Thursday morning, WKRN-TV reported.
The impacted patient is an 44-year-old man from Williamson County, which borders Nashville on the south, who is currently isolated at home with mild symptoms. He traveled out of state recently, but not out of the country, and returned four or five days ago, the governor said.
A spokesperson with the Tennessee Department of Health said the agency is waiting to confirm details of where in the country the patient traveled. She also said they are waiting to confirm if the man traveled through Nashville International Airport.
“As of last night, we have our first confirmed case of COVID 19 in Tennessee,” explained Gov. Lee.
“Tennessee was one of the first first states to begin COVID 19 testing and we continue to remain confident in our ability to prevent the spread of this infection in our state. We are actively engaged in our COVID 19 task force,” said Gov. Lee.
“While this is a serious situation, I urge Tennesseans to keep this illness in perspective as the vast majority of cases or mild and manageable.”
The Tennessee Department of Health state public health laboratory first tested the coronavirus patient Wednesday.
“While we are saddened to learn that this virus has now reached Tennessee, we are positioned to respond swiftly,” said Tennessee Department of Health Dr. Lisa Piercey.
“We are now working with the CDC to locate this person’s contacts and contain the spread in our community. The overall risk is low,” continued Dr. Piercey.
Most patients with COVID 19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Kentucky health officials have joined others across the country in issuing the same safety and health warnings to safeguard against contracting the disease.