Moment of silence honors first COVID-19 case in Tennessee one year later

Coronavirus

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — While many Tennesseans remember March of 2020 for that powerful tornado that ripped through parts of the state, the medical staff at Williamson Medical Center carry a different perspective.

On March 5, 2020, the hospital had its first confirmed case of coronavirus. It was also the very first case for all of Tennessee.

“A lot of uncertainty”, said Katherine Mincey, a registered nurse in Critical Care. “Working in a hospital, things travel quickly as far as information goes. And we just really didn’t know.”

The hospital spent months preparing for the onset of the virus. A task force was started in advance, and a PPE plan was put into active mode immediately.

“Unfortunately, there wasn’t much evidence to look at and we were really just trying to prepare based on our best knowledge of other respiratory diseases,” said Brad Bullock, Hospitalist Program Officer for Williamson Medical Center.

Williamson Medical Center treated more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19. The hospital treated and released 803 people since the start of the pandemic, 153 others did not survive the virus. 

“We’ve obviously seen a lot more death than we ever have as a nurse. We’re accustomed to that in critical care, but it was much tougher,” said Mincey. “We do cry. We do breakdown at the end of the day. Heck, we break down in the middle of the day. But you know you have a job to do and you have a role to play, so you kinda squash that for the time being.”

Friday, the hospital held a moment of silence for those who died, those who survived and those still fighting on the front lines.

As of Friday morning, Williamson Medical Center had five patients admitted for COVID-19. Hospital officials say the drop in patient numbers is thanks to vaccination, mask wearing and social distancing. 

From availability to current phases, find vaccine information for every Tennessee county using News 2’s Vaccine Tracker map.

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