The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Anderson County, according to the office of Mayor Terry Frank.
The Anderson County Health Department told Frank and Steve Payne, director of the Emergency Management Agency, about the first confirmed diagnosis.
According to the Health Department, the patient has self-isolated and the Health Department is currently engaged in education and tracing the person’s contacts. The Anderson County Health Department cannot release any further information about the patient, including a more precise location within Anderson County, a press release said.
Residents are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest information and guidance at https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html. They are encouraged to watch the site for additional COVID-19 assessment sites, as new sites are added daily, the press release said. The Tennessee Department of Health has a hotline at (877) 857-2945. It’s available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time daily.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed as much as possible, the press release said.
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus. It is reported to be more lethal than the flu, and it was first diagnosed in China in December. It has since spread to countries around the world, infecting more than 200,000 people and killing more than 8,000. The rapid spread of the virus has led to travel bans, school closures and the closures of businesses such as restaurants and bars where people might congregate, event cancellations and postponements, lockdowns, and quarantines.
To protect yourself, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for citizens who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before going to see a healthcare provider. If you are sick, wear a face mask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a face mask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes. And people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room.
- Do not wear a face mask if you are not sick, unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are unable to wear a mask).
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid groups of people
- Practice social distancing