First COVID-19 death reported in Tennessee; at least 288 cases statewide

Posted at 2:05 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-21 11:55:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The first novel coronavirus-related death has been reported in Tennessee. The number of COVID-19 cases in Tennessee has risen to at least 288.

The Metro Public Health Department said a 73-year-old Nashville man died on Friday. Officials said the man had underlying health conditions and died due to complications with COVID-19.

“This is a tragic loss of life, and we extend our heartfelt condolences with the family,” said Mayor John Cooper. “Even though the majority of people diagnosed with COVID-19 have experienced mild symptoms, we know that the virus can be life-threatening, and we need everyone to take steps to protect themselves and each other.”

Saturday morning, the Metro Health Department confirmed 23 additional cases in Davidson County, bringing the total to 133.

NewsChannel 5's numbers include not only the Tennessee Department of Heath's numbers, but additional numbers confirmed by individual counties:

  • Anderson: 1
  • Blount: 1
  • Bradley: 1
  • Campbell: 1
  • Cheatham: 2
  • Cumberland: 2
  • Davidson 133
  • Dickson: 2
  • Dyer: 1
  • Greene: 1
  • Hamblen: 1
  • Hamilton: 5
  • Jefferson: 1
  • Knox: 3
  • Maury: 1
  • Montgomery: 3
  • Putnam - 1
  • Robertson: 2
  • Rutherford: 1
  • Sevier: 1
  • Shelby: 30
  • Sullivan: 1
  • Sumner: 11
  • Tipton: 1
  • Washington: 2
  • Williamson: 35
  • Wilson: 3
  • Out of Tennessee residents: 40

Ages that have been reported for confirmed patients:

  • 10 years old or younger: 3
  • Between 11 and 20 years old: 12
  • Between 21 and 30 years old: 72
  • Between 31 and 40 years old: 47
  • Between 41 and 50 years old: 35
  • Between 51 and 60 years old: 26
  • Between 61 and 70 years old: 16
  • Between 71 and 80 years old: 13
  • At least 80 years old: 4

To help slow the spread of the virus, all Davidson County restaurants will be closed to dine-in customers. Only take-out orders, drive-thru service, curbside pickup and delivery services will be allowed. Additionally, all gyms will be closed.

White Bluff Mayor Linda Hayes announced on Friday she tested positive for COVID-19. Mayor Hayes said she is recovering at home in self-quarantine.

"I urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to slow and prevent the spread of this virus," Mayor Haynes said. "Please diligently practice social distancing. Follow the guidance and directives of Governor Lee and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

Friday morning, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles also said the county confirmed its first case. Tennova Healthcare in Clarksville also said one of its patients had tested positive for the virus and that person remains in their care.

The state has established a website for Tennesseans to find a remote assessment site if they are showing symptoms of the virus. To find a testing site near you, click here.

Metro Nashville launched a website for Davidson County residents to stay informed on COVID-19 cases in the area.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.