By Mark Darnell
Sources confirmed Monday morning that Macon County had experienced the first death due to complications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“On Friday, March 27, 2020, a patient (at The White House) was tested for COVID-19 due to the private duty caregiver giving assistance to her per their arrangement. That patient was transferred to the hospital on Monday, March 30, 2020. This patient was confirmed positive in the hospital for COVID-19, and, sadly, has since died.” Please see the complete press release from Knollwood Manor and The White House in this edition.
The pandemic hit the United States on the west coast sometime in January and has spread throughout the country. As of press time there are 1,309,439 confirmed cases globally, with 72,638 fatalities and 273,546 confirmed recoveries of the repertory disease. In Tennessee there were 3,802 confirmed cases, with 65 deaths and 356 recoveries.
This past week Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an amendment to his Executive Order #15 which was a ‘suggested’ shelter at home. Executive Order #22 issued the following guidelines: residents staying at home except for an essential activity or service, closure of non-essential businesses for public use, and guidelines for those essential businesses to continue to operate. It also stated that it did not supersede or limit any other restrictive orders that cities or municipalities had in place. It is to remain in effect till April 14.
“This is not a mandated ‘shelter in place’ order, because it remains deeply important to me to protect personal liberties,” Lee indicated last Monday.
Lee indicated that the new mandate was necessary because there was clear evidence from cell phone data and vehicle data that residents were not following his earlier ‘safer at home’ order.
Again as of 2 p.m. on April 6 there were 11 reported cases in Macon County and the one fatality according the Tennessee Department of Health website.
Many are recommending a number of best practices to help prevent the spread of the disease. They include hand washing with soap: before, during and after preparing food, before eating food, before and after caring for someone who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea, before and after treating a cut or wound, after using the toilet, after changing a diaper, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and after touching garbage. If you cannot use soap in these instances it is recommended to use hand sanitizers.
Other precautions to prevent the spread of the illness are: avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, staying at home when sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throwing that tissue away, and clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
See a full statement from Knollwood and White House Assisted Living on page A-8 in this edition of the Macon County Chronicle.