NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Davidson County Sheriff's Office inmate has tested positive for COVID-19. He is the first inmate in Davidson County custody to have a confirmed case.
The sheriff's office said the inmate was moved into isolation when he first began showing symptoms on April 1. His symptoms are described as mild.
There are now 53 inmates under quarantine. The sheriff's office said none of the inmates have shown any symptoms, but they were housed in the same unit as the man who tested positive.
"I have emphasized from the beginning of this public health emergency our facilities are a microcosm of the Nashville community and we fully expected to have positive cases – that day has now arrived," Sheriff Daron Hall said. “We are working closely with the medical provider and health department to ensure the safety of both our staff and the inmate population. Last month, the DCSO devised a housing plan to accommodate the medical isolation situation we face today and we hope to see a continued decrease in the number of those incarcerated."
The sheriff's office said the inmate has been in custody since February.
Last month, the sheriff's office began checking the temperature of each person who is arrested before they enter the booking room. All sheriff's office employees have their temperature checked before reporting to their job assignment.
On April 1, the sheriff's office said a DCSO employee tested positive for the virus and was being treated in a hospital. Hall said the employee's assignment was in a closed environment control room and the employee did not have direct contact with the inmate population or correctional staff.
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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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- 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.