A second individual in Bradley County has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to the Tennessee Department of Health, which made the announcement on Sunday.
The announcement was made the same day Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order calling for businesses across the state to utilize alternative business models beginning at midnight central time.
News of the second case follows an announcement made Friday by local officials of a first case involving a Bradley County individual who had tested positive for COVID-19.
In a joint press conference broadcast live on social media, Cleveland Mayor Kevin Brooks and Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis noted the person was not in serious condition and was being quarantined at home.
In the first case, Bradley County Health Department Director Brittany Hopkins said health officials could not disclose any patient information aside from their age range, noting the person is in the 41-50 year-old age category.
Officials would not release additional information regarding the individual.
In addition, no information is available — as yet — regarding the second individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
During the Friday press conference, officials said they tried to gather as much information as possible prior to the press conference, but a lot of questions remained unanswered.
They could not share the number of testing sites, the number of test kits or the restrictions for COVID-19 testing in Bradley County. Hopkins referred to the state health department, stating that the information made publicly available on their website, tn.gov/health
, is the same information that is being provided to their local office.
Davis and Brooks urged city and county residents to continue social distancing to “flatten the curve” or slow the spread of coronavirus cases.
The mayors also signed a countywide declaration of emergency after conducting the press conference.
issued by governor
Gov. Lee's executive order will last until midnight, April 6, central time.
The order also outlines ways businesses and citizens should work to protect vulnerable populations.
Lee said the COVID-19 pandemic “has created both an economic and a health crisis and our response must continue to address both aspects.”
“Our goal is to keep the public, especially vulnerable populations, safe while doing everything possible to keep Tennesseans in a financially stable position,” Lee said. “Executive Order 17 prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more people and also enacts the following provisions regarding restaurants, bars, and similar food and drink establishments:
• Establishments are to exclusively offer drive-thru, take-out or delivery options to support families, businesses and the food supply chain during this emergency.
• Establishments may sell alcohol by take-out or delivery (with the purchase of food) in closed containers to those who are age 21 and up.
• Gyms and fitness/exercise centers or substantially similar facilities are to temporarily close and suspend in-person services until April 6.
In the interim, Lee said those businesses are encouraged to pursue digital programming, if possible.
The order also pursues additional measures to keep vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with underlying conditions safe:
• Visitation to nursing homes, retirement homes and long-term care or assisted-living facilities is now limited to visits involving essential care only.
• Businesses are encouraged to enact policies that take extra steps to assist vulnerable populations by considering measures such as shopping hours exclusive from the general public.
“I urge every Tennessean to take these actions seriously — our physical and economic health depend on this as we work to beat COVID-19,” Lee said.
Public school systems have closed their campuses to students as well, only allowing essential administrators to operate from their offices in shifts to limit the number of people in the office at one time.
School systems are continuing to feed students through remote food sites and meal delivery using their bus routes. Universities and public schools are using programs like Zoom and Google Hangout to continue remote learning and virtual meetings during the extended closure.
By order of the U.S. Supreme Court, all municipal courts are to remain closed until March 31. The city of Cleveland is also limiting visitation and implementing a reservation system for all business at the Municipal Building. In addition to those closures, the city of Cleveland has closed all playgrounds at all city parks, but parks, walking trails and greenways will stay open.
of COVID-19 rising
This week, COVID-19 cases in Tennessee surpassed 500 after reporting only 18 cases just seven days prior.
Midday Sunday, the Tennessee Department of Health released its daily COVID-19 report and announced over 505 cases had been confirmed in the state.
Hamilton County reported eight positive COVID-19 cases on Saturday, shortly after TDH made its daily announcement.
According to the TDH, out of 909 COVID-19 tests completed, 848 individuals tested negative for the virus.
The majority of the cases in Tennessee are in Davidson County, with 167 individuals testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
As of Sunday afternoon, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reported 35,225 active cases in the U.S. So far, 471 Americans have died from the virus.
Worldwide, there have been 350,731 confirmed cases, resulting in 15,328 deaths. However, 100,182 have recovered, according to the same site.