New cases of coronavirus were announced in Nashville and Memphis on Sunday morning, bringing the known statewide total for the dangerous virus up to three.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced the first case of the virus in Davidson County. In Shelby County, Memphis Mayor Lee Harris announced the infection of a resident who had traveled recently.
“This obviously comes at a time when Nashville needs and wants to give each other a big hug … and we still need to do that,” Cooper said at a morning news conference. “Public Health will be talking about he best way to do that safely.”
Nashville Metro Health Director Dr. Michael Caldwell said the first case was an adult woman who lived in Nashville and was now self-isolated at home with mild symptoms. Caldwell said her illness was “not considered travel-related.”
“We are working to identify people who have had close contacts with this presumptive case,” Caldwell said. “But all the details are not filled in just yet.”
These two new cases come three days after Gov. Bill Lee announced the first coronavirus case in Tennessee. That patient is a 44-year-old Williamson County man who is quarantined at home with mild symptoms.
Health officials believe he contracted the virus while traveling to Boston, possibly for a conference. On Friday, officials said it did not appear the virus had spread to other people in the man’s home.
Testing for coronavirus is being done at the state health laboratory in East Nashville. As of Thursday, the state had tested eight people for the virus and had the capacity to test 85 more. Lisa Piercey, the state health commissioner, described this supply of tests as “plenty for now.”
Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a viral infection that began in Wuhan, China, but has since spread worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, more than 101,000 people have been infected and about 3,500 have died.
In the United States, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, there have been at least 164 cases and 11 deaths across 19 states, but additional deaths and cases have been unofficially reported over the weekend.
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