Tennessee confirms its first coronavirus case: officials

Days after deadly tornadoes ripped through the central part of the state, Tennessee officials on Thursday announced its first case of the novel coronavirus in a man in his 40's.

Gov. Bill Lee during a Thursday morning press conference said the case was confirmed in a 44-year-old man who recently traveled out of state. He is a resident of Williamson County and is isolated at home with mild symptoms.

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It wasn’t immediately clear which state the man had traveled to. He began experiencing symptoms — reported to include fever, cough and shortness of breath — after returning home. He subsequently contacted health authorities and self-isolated.

“The patient has a mild illness,” health officials said in a news release. 

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“We are working closely with local health care partners to identify contacts and contain [the] spread of this disease in our communities,” Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said in a statement. “We’ve been anticipating identification of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee. At this time, the overall risk to the general public remains low. We are continuing to work with the CDC and other agencies to provide guidance to Tennesseans to protect their health.”

Tennessee joins a seemingly growing list of states with confirmed cases of the virus. Most recently, New Jersey confirmed its first case on Wednesday while New York confirmed additional cases of the virus on Thursday morning. Overall, more than a dozen states have confirmed cases of the novel virus.