UT Knoxville reports first confirmed case of COVID-19

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Knoxville County Health Department confirmed Sunday that a University of Tennessee, Knoxville staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

According to reports, the campus employee was last on campus on March 16th during spring break. UT Knoxville administrators plan to assist local health authorities in reaching out to anyone with whom the employee may have come into close contact.

Officials say the staff member is recovering at home in self-isolation.

“Our thoughts right now are with this member of our community. We wish them a speedy recovery and are committed to providing them with care and support,” Chancellor Donde Plowman said.

“We remain focused on the health and well-being of our campus and our broader community. We will continue our aggressive measures for social distancing as we all do our part to limit community spread, flatten the curve of infections, and protect those who are particularly vulnerable to this disease.”

UT Knoxville officials are aware that some members of the campus community who suspect they may have COVID-19 are already self-isolating as they await further testing and results.

To limit the spread of COVID-19, UT Knoxville has moved all spring semester classes online, drastically limited the number of students staying on campus, canceled events, and established procedures for working remotely.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST for every county other than Davidson. Information for Davidson comes from the Metro Public Health Department.)


Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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