Mayor Lane Curlee and Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell both confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in Coffee County late Saturday evening.
At this time, it is not known if the patient is a resident of Tullahoma, Manchester or rural Coffee County. The News has reached out to city officials on the matter.
The patient was tested at Unity Medical Center in an outdoor testing structure, according to a statement from the Manchester hospital.
UMC stated the patient had been self-isolating and reports feeling "well."
Both mayors issued a statement on the subject, which can be read in full below:
We have been notified by the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) that a resident of Coffee County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The patient has been placed in quarantine and is recovering at home.
This is not unexpected. Your local officials have been preparing for and expecting this for weeks. We are coordinating with the TDH and the healthcare community to make sure all Coffee County residents are protected.
The worst thing we can do during trying times like this is panic. It is important to remember that the vast majority of patients that contract this virus have a mild course of illness and recover quickly. If you are ill with respiratory symptoms, it is very important that you call your doctor first. Do not go to the Emergency Department or any doctor's office without calling first. We all have to work together to make sure our health care community is not overwhelmed with worried well.
We will continue to closely monitor this evolving situation and will adapt our response as appropriate. Over the next several weeks we might all suffer some inconveniences. You might see things like, "you have to go through the drive-thru" at the bank or a restaurant. There might be some other temporary closures of businesses in the community, but this will end and we will be stronger as a community.
Here are some things you can do to help:
As I mentioned, do not go to the doctor or the emergency room without calling first. Keep your hands clean and continue to practice social distancing. If you are feeling bad, stay at home. Keep an eye on our elders. They need to be staying at home as much as possible and we need to support them and keep them safe. People over the age of 65 and those with prior illness are at greatest risk so we need to come together and support them.
Again, I want to emphasize, this was not unexpected. We are prepared and are working closely with the TDH and all agencies of government at all levels to minimize the impact on the residents of Coffee County. That has been and continues to be our primary concern. We will get through this together.
Individuals with specific questions can call the TDH Information line at 877-857-2945 or 731-421-6782.
Individuals can assist us in practicing everyday prevention measures, in compliance with the CDC recommendations for minimizing possible exposure to COVID-19:
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
- Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean commonly touched surfaces regularly.
- Select a room in your house to utilize if you must self-quarantine and identify someone who can bring you supplies to avoid having to make trips.
- Social distance.
- Stay informed on the latest updates.
For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Tennessee, please visit the state health department at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.
Erin McCullough may be reached at email@example.com.