Tennessee school employee comes in contact with coronavirus patient – and parents aren’t taking any chances

Officials announced two more novel coronavirus patients in Tennessee on Monday, bringing the state’s total cases to six. Residents are doing what they can to avoid becoming the next statistic.

According to the Tennessee Health Department, all patients are men living in Middle Tennessee. WHBQ in Memphis reports that one employee for two schools in Shelby County came in contact with a patient who tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The employee, who worked at Treadwell Elementary and Treadwell Middle, was placed on a 14-day quarantine and was not showing any symptoms – but still, some families were worried.

For Annie Jones, she wore plastic bags over her clothing and face when she went to the middle school to pick up her nephew. She told WHBQ she wanted to be extra cautious. Like other parents, she was notified of the quarantined employee through a phone call. 

“They ain’t giving us no up-to-date [information] about what’s going on,” said Jones. “We don’t know.”

Parents pulled their children out of school, WHBQ reports, including Latrice Colbert, mother of a fourth-grader.

"I know this is very serious,” said Colbert. “So, I’m just going to make him a doctor's appointment and get him checked out."


One parent was even seen using disinfectant spray on their child outside the school.

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Meanwhile in Nashville,  Mayor John Cooper said in a statement an adult female who tested positive is a Nashville resident, has mild symptoms and is in self-isolation at home. She has no recent history with international travel. The source of the woman’s exposure is unknown and is under investigation, the statement said.

In Memphis, the Shelby County Health Department said in a news release Sunday that a patient who tested positive is in good condition and is receiving treatment in isolation at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. The patient had recently traveled out of state but not out of the country. Further details were withheld to protect the patient’s privacy, the statement said.

The Department of Health confirmed Tennessee’s first case on Thursday. That patient is an adult male living in Williamson County who recently traveled out of state. The patient is isolated at home with mild symptoms and his household contacts are being evaluated, Department of Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report