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SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department has received confirmation from the Tennessee Department of Health that a second Shelby County resident has tested presumptively positive for the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, pending confirmatory tests from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The person is in good condition and in isolation with public health monitoring. This second case is not the result of community spread of the virus. Rather, the second case traveled to New Orleans and had close contact with the first case in Shelby County, identified over the weekend. The person is an adult over 40 years old, but no further personal information will be released in order to protect the individual’s privacy.
Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter said, “The Health Department is conducting contact tracing to identify persons who may have been exposed to the second case. But the threat to the general public is thought to be low because the individual had been quarantined since the weekend.”
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.
In recent days, a number of institutions, including Shelby County Schools, Rhodes College, UT Health Science Center and others have cancelled classes or announced plans to provide distance learning opportunities rather than in-person classes. The Health Department has not ordered any organization to close or cancel classes or mass gatherings at this time. But the Health Department recommends that organizations review their emergency plans and evaluate the feasibility of telecommuting and distance learning. The Health Department is working with partners in health care, education, business, law enforcement and the faith community to prepare for the potential of disruption to daily life as a result of COVID-19.
Members of the general public can take simple steps to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses including COVID-19:
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:
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 Shelby County Health Department is committed to providing the public with the information it needs to plan and protect itself, by providing a daily update on its website, shelbytnhealth.com. The Health Department has also activated a call center to answer questions about COVID-19. The hotline number has now changed to 833-943-1658, but calls to the old number (901-692-7523), will also be routed to the call center. The number is staffed during regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. After-hours calls are returned promptly on the next business day.
The Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage also has a new easy-to-remember link: shelbytnhealth.com/coronavirus. The page includes useful information about the virus and links to resources for individuals, families, businesses and faith communities.
Keeping our community healthy and preventing the spread of COVID-19 is everyone’s responsibility. The Shelby County Health Department is dedicated to promoting and protecting the health of all who live, work, and play in Shelby County.