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Tennessee has its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus

Samuel Gutner, a superior of the biocontainment unit watches lead clinical nurse Madeleine Steinberg rub hand sanitizer on her outer set of gloves which are sealed with tape as medical staff train at Johns Hopkins Hospital. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/TNS)

As of last night, Tennessee has its first confirmed case of novel coronavirus, Gov. Bill Lee announced at a press conference Thursday morning.

“We feel very prepared as a state, starting before cases ever began to arrive in the state,” he said. “Preparedness is critical, and I have full confidence in our preparedness plan that we’ve put in place.”

The patient is a 44-year-old male from Williamson County with a recent history of out-of-state, domestic travel. He’s currently isolated at home with mild symptoms.

“We continue to emphasize that the risk to the general public is low,” Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said. “We just learned of this situation last night. … We know you want specifics on this case, but we want to be able to give you accurate information and not speculate.”

Piercey emphasized that most cases of coronavirus are mild. Individuals with concerns about coronavirus can get more information here.

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The department of health is contacting all that may have been exposed, she said.

This is a developing story.

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© 2020 the Chattanooga Times/Free Press