Health Department Debunks Internet Rumor of Coronavirus at 201 Poplar



Nope. Not according to the Shelby County Health Department Thursday afternoon.

"That is absolutely not true," said Joan Carr, the department's public information officer. "There are NO coronavirus cases or suspect cases in Memphis or specifically 201 Poplar."

As of Wednesday, the virus has only been confirmed in four states — California, Washington, Illinois, and Arizona — by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials in Arkansas are awaiting test results for a patient who had recently travelled to China, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. That patient is in isolation and test results are expected tomorrow.

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

But if you tuned into Memphis social media Thursday, you might be wondering if the coronavirus has spread to the confines of the Walter L. Bailey Jr. Criminal Justice Center at 201 Poplar.


Carr said the annual, seasonal flu has killed eight children in Tennessee so far this year and has put thousands of people in the hospital. The flu is spreading through Shelby County right now, she said.

"We are literally giving the flu vaccine away at all the public health clinics right now, and very few people are taking advantage of it," Carr said. "If Memphians are really worried about respiratory viruses, they should go out and get a free flu vaccine, because they are far more likely to get the flu from someone in the next cubicle than they are to get the novel coronavirus from China."

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