Memphis’ second COVID-19 case is hospital employee

By , Daily Memphian Updated: March 15, 2020 12:54 PM CT | Published: March 14, 2020 3:26 PM CT

Editor’s note: Due to the serious public health implications associated with COVID-19, The Daily Memphian is making our coronavirus coverage accessible to all readers — no subscription needed.

Confirmed cases
Shelby County

With the confirmed cases of COVID-19 remaining at two in Shelby County, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has identified that one of their employees was among those who contracted the novel coronavirus.

“We have learned that a Le Bonheur Children’s employee was exposed to COVID-19 from the first confirmed case in Shelby County. This was the second case already announced by the Shelby County Health Department,” communications specialist Sarah Farley wrote in a Saturday release.

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“When the employee developed symptoms, we immediately reported the information to the Shelby County and State of Tennessee Departments of Health and asked them to test our employee for COVID-19. The employee was already in quarantine at home.”

The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the state has risen to 32, as of 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Methodist Le Bonheur has notified all patients, family members and employees who were in close contact with the employee who tested positive for the virus, Farley says, and is working with the Shelby County Health Department to follow up with those individuals.

In accordance with the protocol Methodist Le Bonheur implemented to address COVID-19, the organization will continue to limit access points throughout their hospital system and screen visitors.

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That protocol includes:

  •  Asking those who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 to avoid emergency departments unless they need hospital care;
  • Strict screening procedures at all its facilities; travel history, COVID-19 exposure, fever and/or respiratory illness;
  • Limiting access points to all facilities;
  • Restricting the number of visitors to two healthy adults per patient;
  • Temporarily suspending all on-site meetings, events and tours of facilities;
  • Instructing patients with fever or symptoms of respiratory infection to alert staff so appropriate precautions can be implemented;
  • Encouraging individuals to visit Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare COVID-19 website for latest information.



Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare COVID-19
Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd

Jared Boyd is an arts and culture columnist at The Daily Memphian and program manager for WYXR 91.7 FM. His friends call him "Jay B.," and you can, too.

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