Two people have died at Chattanooga hospitals from the coronavirus, Hamilton County Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes said Wednesday afternoon.
She said one was over 65 and had underlying health conditions.
Ms. Barnes said, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce this COVID-19 death. We extend our condolences to the family; however, this reminds us to continue our prevention efforts and to fight this disease with firm resolve.”
She said the second person who died was from out of the county, but had come to the hospital in Chattanooga.
She also said that there were 11 new cases of coronavirus in Hamilton County, bringing the total to 27.
Ms. Barnes seven of the local cases were ages 18-49, and three were 50-64. Eleven were 65 or older.
She said 19 were white, one black and one Asian.
There are 126 in quarantine in Hamilton County, including 56 who are being actively monitored.
Eight persons with confirmed virus cases in Hamilton County have recovered.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger called it "rather sombering news."
At the state time, the state Health Department said Tennessee conoravirus cases have increased from 667 to 784.
There earlier were reports of two deaths in the state from the virus - both in Davidson County.
Bradley County has moved to three cases with the addition of a Lee University student.
Marion and Grundy each have a single case.
McMinn and Monroe have two each.
Davidson County health officials said the county is up to 257 cases. Health officials in Nashville said, "Of the confirmed cases, one patient has died from complications due to the coronavirus. Three others remain hospitalized. Thirty-four people have recovered from the virus. The remaining 219 cases are self-isolating at home and have mild and manageable symptoms.
Shelby County has climbed to 117.
It is now in 52 of the state's 95 counties.
The virus is not just striking the elderly. Twelve children ages 0-10 have had confirmed cases in Tennessee, and 46 are ages 11-20. Officials said 224 have been 21-30, and 144 31-40.
Hamilton County health officials said, "In order to address this growing public health threat, on Thursday the Health Department will close three of their satellite health centers in Birchwood, Ooltewah, and Sequoyah. The Third Street campus and Homeless Healthcare Center will remain open. This is part of the Health Department’s Continuity of Operations Plan. Staff from these health centers will be reassigned to COVID-19 response duties. The satellite health centers will reopen at a later date."
Governor Bill Lee said the CDC has pledged $10 million for Tennessee’s efforts to fight COVID-19. Tennessee has purchased additional testing capacity and supplies per guidance from the CDC.
He said, "In looking at the testing response of other states, Tennessee continues to be a proportional leader compared to states much larger in the region."
He said the Department of Human Services has deployed on the $10 million emergency response and recovery grants for existing child care facilities. A church, gym, or non-profit can open an emergency temporary child care facility by registering with the Department of Human Services. Additional information can be found here.
Governor Lee has directed the Department of Human Services to personally reach out to each existing child care facility in the state to help organizations secure supplies.
County health officials said symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Anyone who has been experiencing these symptoms or has had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, should contact their healthcare provider before presenting at a healthcare facility.
If an individual is tested for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are not hospitalized, they are required to go home and self-isolate until the test results come back. They must assume they are positive until they receive the negative result. If the individual tests negative, they should continue to follow CDC, Health Department, and community directives of social distancing.
The foundation of a community-wide response is the everyday actions we can take to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community. These actions include:
· Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
· Stay home if you are sick to protect others.
· Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve, elbow, or tissue. Discard the tissue immediately after use.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects.
· Stay informed using reliable information sources, such as the Tennessee Department of Health.
For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit the Health Department’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, or call the information hotline at (423) 209-8383.