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Stewart County Confirms First Coronavirus Cases

Lukasz Stefanski
123rf Stock Photo

  Stewart County in northwest Tennessee has confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus. 


County Emergency Management Director Clint Mathis said officials learned about both positive cases this morning, but he doesn’t yet know the age and gender of the cases or whether the cases are connected. 


Mathis said the positive cases weren’t a surprise as officials have been preparing for the possibility with cases in nearby Clarksville and Nashville.


“We’ve been spinning up for this in a ‘lean-forward’ status for a number of weeks, so it’s nothing that was unexpected,” Mathis said. “When you look at the situation around it, it was only a matter of time.”


He said emergency management officials have been working with other county agencies to prepare including getting PPE to protect local healthcare workers. Mathis also said one of the challenges moving forward as the outbreak progresses is seeking treatment for people in the county without a hospital.


“That’s a concern if we were to have a mass number of cases, how are we going to deal with that with no hospital? They’ll have to go to surrounding communities,” he said. “We’re planning and trying to be as prepared as we can be for it.” 


Mathis said he’s glad the governor issued a stay-at-home order Thursday, given the large number of people from several states he saw recreating on nearby rivers and lakes. He said he encourages people to stay home and continue to practice social distancing in the coming weeks.


"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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