By Michael Bartiromo
Published March 06, 2020
Officials with the Tennessee Department of Health have released further details about the state’s first case of COVID-19, confirming the patient had recently traveled round trip from the Nashville International Airport to Boston’s Logan International Airport.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee reported the state’s first coronavirus case in a 44-year-old male resident at a Thursday press conference. At the time, officials had said the man had traveled out of state, although it was not immediately clear where to.
In a news release, the Tennessee Department of Health later confirmed the man – a resident of Williamson County – had traveled on a nonstop flight between Nashville and Boston, although he was “asymptomatic” at the time.
Officials did not say when the man’s travel took place.
The patient, who was described as having a “mild illness,” is currently quarantined in his home, officials said.
The Tennessee Department of Health has since said they are in close contact with the Massachusetts Department of Health, as well as the chief executive officer of Nashville International Airport.
In response, the Boston Public Health Commission released a statement confirming that they are working with the Massachusetts Department of Health, as well as the Massachusetts Port Authority or Massport (which oversees three Boston-area airports), as well as the CDC and the Tennessee Department of Health, NBC Boston reports.
Local Boston outlet WHDH added that Massachusetts Gov. Charles D. Baker believes the man was one of three people who attended a conference for Biogen, a biotechnology firm based out of Cambridge, Mass., in Boston last week.
Biogen had previously reported on three attendees who tested positive, saying on Thursday that one lived out of state.
Lisa Piercy, the commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health, said during Thursday’s press conference that the “overall risk" to residents of Tennessee "remains low.”
"We are continuing to work with the CDC and other agencies to provide guidance to Tennesseans to protect their health," Piercy said.