Shelby County Health Dept: Please wash your hands and stay home if sick

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County health officials are reminding residents to wash their hands and treat the coronavirus as if they were trying to prevent themselves from getting the flu.

Dr. Alisa Haushalter, director of the Shelby County Health Department, said people need to stay home if they are not feeling well.

“It is really important that we all make a decision to stay home if we’re sick,” Haushalter said. “So any cough, sneeze, running a fever, you have to be fever free for 24 hours without any medication before you should be in public.”

The health department announced on Sunday that one person tested positive for COVID-19, the specific name newest strain of coronavirus, after traveling outside of the state. The patient is currently in isolation at Baptist hospital and is in good condition.

Dr. Haushalter confirmed at least 70 people are currently being quarantined after they may have had some sort of contact with the infected patient. She says those people are not sick and do not pose a risk to the public they have been asked to stay home.

A faculty member at University of Tennessee Health Science Center is under a 14-day quarantine after exposure to the local patient who tested positive for COVID-19, the university said in an email.

An employee at Treadwell Elementary and Middle schools has been placed under a cautionary quarantine after having contact with a COVID-19 patient.

Dr. Haushalter did not specific if the employee had contact with the patient in quarantine at Baptist.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris says people can expect updates on the situation every Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re going to share all of that information and make sure we are transparent with the public around how we might respond to any incident, including the current incident on the front of everybody’s mind, COVID-19.” Harris said.

Dr. Haushalter says there are a significant number of people who have traveled abroad recently and are under what’s called ‘self-monitoring’ and staying home for two weeks.

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