BREAKING: First Bedford County coronavirus case reported

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

First local coronavirus patient reported

T-G STAFF REPORT

Bedford County Mayor Chad Graham was notified by the state on Wednesday that a resident of Bedford County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19. The patient’s name was not released.

“This is not unexpected,” said Graham. “We have been preparing for this. We are coordinating with Tennessee Department of Health and the healthcare community to protect Bedford County residents.”

County officials said they did not have further information such as the patient’s age, condition, area of residence or possible contacts.

Graham, as well as Bedford County Emergency Management Agency Director Scott Johnson, who heads the county’s COVID-19 Task Force, stressed the need for calm but deliberate response.

“The worst thing we can do is panic,” said Johnson. “It is important to remember that the vast majority of patients that contract this virus have a mild course of illness and recover quickly. If you are ill with respiratory symptoms, it is very important that you call your doctor first. Do not go to any emergency room or doctor’s office without calling first. We all have to work together to make sure our health care community is not overwhelmed.

“At the same time, this first case is a reminder of the seriousness of the COVID-19 situation,” added Johnson. “We urge all citizens to stay home and avoid social contact, even with close friends and relatives outside the household. Practice social distancing, and wash your hands, your phone, and surfaces where the virus could be transferred.” 

“We will continue to closely monitor this evolving situation and will adapt our response as appropriate,” said Graham, who remains in close contact with officials from Shelbyville, Bell Buckle, Wartrace, Normandy and neighboring communities. “A situation like this creates inconveniences, and we’ve already been experiencing those, but the end result will make us stronger as a community.”

Graham urged all citizens to stay in contact, even though physical contact is not advisable. Citizens should pay close attention to senior citizens or those with illnesses or conditions that may make them more vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.

“We need to support each other through this time of challenge,” said Graham.