Sen. Lamar Alexander says daughter tests positive for COVID-19 in New York

Posted at 10:29 AM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 11:41:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Sen. Lamar Alexander (R – Tennessee) says his daughter, who lives in Westchester County, New York, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Alexander’s office said he confirmed the diagnosis Friday morning on a Knoxville radio station. He said his grandson has tested negative.

My daughter in New York lives in Westchester County where they’ve had all this trouble, and she tested positive. She was pretty sick, and she’s in her 40’s. If you’re 80, you ought to be really careful. Maybe you should be in your 40’s too.

Her husband has been sick for a week, and her son tested negative. He’s nine but wasn’t sick but he got sick yesterday. So they don’t know whether it’s that or something else. You can take it one day and be okay and the next day you’re sick.

Alexander initially said his grandson also tested positive for the virus; however his office later said that he misspoke.

On Thursday, Tennessee's confirmed number of cases surpassed 1,000. The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States has now surpassed the total number of cases in China.


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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:

  • 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.