Manchester has first official case of COVID-19

Saturday, March 28, Unity Medical Center was notified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that it conducted testing on a patient who tested positive for COVID-19.

“We immediately activated protocols for handling COVID-19 cases,” Unity said in a press release. “The protocols in place allowed Unity staff to test the patient in at outside structure without entering the facility. After speaking with the provider, it is reported that the patient is self-isolating at home and reports that they are doing well. Unity Medical Center will continue following precautions to ensure the safety of our patients, colleagues and visitors.

“In addition, as we often do during heavy influenza outbreaks, visitor restrictions have been instituted. We are not allowing visitors inside of the hospital and have reduced entry to one set of doors, located at the Emergency Department. All employees and patients will be screened prior to entry to the facility. We have positioned supplies at this point of entry, so that any potential symptomatic patient who arrives can be properly masked and immediately isolated to protect our colleagues and other patients.

“We continue to reinforce infection prevention protocols and work in partnership with The Tennessee Department of Health and the CDC. We will provide updates to our hospital and medical staff as necessary.”

Coffee County Mayor Gary Cordell and Manchester Mayor Lonnie Norman released similar statements on the matter late Saturday.

“This is not unexpected,” read part of Cordell’s statement. “Your local officials have been preparing for and expecting this for weeks. We are coordinating with the TDH and the healthcare community to make sure all Coffee County residents are protected.

“The worst thing we can do during trying times like this is panic,” Cordell continued. “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 the emergency department or any doctor’s office without calling first. We all have to work together to make sure our healthcare community is not overwhelmed.”

Tennessee Department of Health reported 1,537 cases of COVID-19 as of Sunday afternoon, this includes 7 deaths and 133 hospitalizations.