Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman confirmed early last week that Lincoln County has had its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
“It’s my job as county mayor in these press releases to make sure that the people of Lincoln County know the facts and know the truth, and one of the truths that’s a little painful for me to announce this afternoon is that we do have our first positive case of the coronavirus here in Lincoln County,” Newman said on Monday.
“The person has been self-quarantined at their home,” he continued, adding that staff with the Lincoln County Health Department have contacted individuals with whom the person might have come in contact. “I’m assuring you that this person is self-quarantined. There is no hazard as far as the general public coming in contact with this person. That’s as much as I know. The health department handles all that, but I will keep you informed as I know the facts.”
The announcement came during one of Newman’s daily COVID-19 updates, links to which are posted on the county’s website at lincolncountytn.gov as well as on The Elk Valley Times’ Facebook page.
According to the county mayor, the positive test was conducted by a commercial lab. He encouraged residents to not be too concerned, saying the virus is not widespread here.
As of Monday morning, Lincoln County’s number of confirmed cases remained at one, according to the Tennessee Department of Health website. Numbers for neighboring Tennessee counties included six for Franklin County, one for Bedford County, and none for Moore, Marshall and Giles counties. In neighboring Alabama counties, the Alabama Department of Health website reports 80 for Madison County and 16 for Limestone County.
Statewide Monday morning Tennessee reported 1,537 confirmed cases, while Alabama reported 850.
“Nationally, the hospitalization rate is somewhere around 12 percent of all the people who have tested positive, and the recovery rate is about 98 percent,” said Newman late last week. “These are figures we’d like to get for Tennessee.”
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensures that a person’s health records remain undisclosed to the general public. That means releasing the names of anyone with COVID-19 would violate HIPAA.