Health officials work to identify people impacted by coronavirus outbreak at assisted living facility

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — For the second day, Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter talked about a coronavirus outbreak at an East Memphis assisted living facility. She says six people in total have it, but she won’t say where.

Health officials said they encourage groups to be as transparent as possible, but ultimately it’s up to the facility to self-identity.

“We are working with that facility to issue their own press release so that the public has access to that information,” Haushalter said. “Generally within public health, we will only release the minimal amount of information necessary to protect the public’s health.”

That’s left family members and people in the community concerned if their loved ones work or live at the facility.

To this point, Haushalter said 24 people have been tested, and anyone impacted should find out if they’re required by law to notify residents and employees.

Several days later, the health department said they’re still working on that.

“My understanding previously, immediately prior to this meeting, is that they have given notice to some employees but not necessarily all of the residents’ family members, so we are working with them to get that done today,” Haushalter said.

She also said the infected patients are clustered together inside the facility and separated from the other residents, though it’s unclear if that includes the employee who tested positive.

The facility hasn’t had visitors for an extended period of time.

She said if you’re still concerned that you could be impacted by this but haven’t heard from anyone, call the Shelby County Health Department.

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