Benton County Mayor Brett Lashlee said, “The Tennessee Department of Health today reported the first COVID-19-related death in Benton County. To be clear, due to laws regarding privacy we are not informed of patient information, so we know nothing beyond that a person has passed.”
Lashlee said, “Benton County is our home, and this loss hits us on a very personal level. We assure you that, as local leaders, we share those same feelings. Let us collectively pray for, and grieve with the family, whoever they may be, as they are experiencing the loss of their loved one to this virus. Let us also grant them privacy.”
Continuing, Lashlee said, “Whatever your approach to or thoughts have been towards this virus, we are all impacted by this tragedy whether directly or indirectly. We must continue to be diligent in our overall health practices and behaviors as this virus is still a grave threat to our community. We must continue to keep the safety of our county as a priority. Please continue to adhere to CDC, White House, and TN Health guidelines.”
“As local governments, we must continue to follow federal and state mandates. As individuals, we must continue to protect our vulnerable populations, and take extra precautions to care for the elderly and children, as well as those that are struggling emotionally and mentally,” he said.
The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 8,266 as of April 23, including 170 deaths, 793 hospitalizations and 4,193 recovered.
The information about the local fatality sent shockwaves through the community since the report has consistently been only four confirmed cases in Benton County, of whom all have recovered. The latest release actually signified there have been five cases in the county.