The Allied Health Building at Southwest Tennessee Community College will be closed through March 18 for a “deep cleaning” of the building in connection with the coronavirus.

The “abundance of caution” move came after Southwest officials learned from the Shelby County Health Department that two radiologic technology students were exposed to the first patient in Shelby County to test positive while performing their clinical rotation at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis.

“The students have been instructed to self-quarantine and not return to rotations or classes until March 18 if they are symptom-free, which is 14 days after their initial exposure to the infected patient,” Southwest shared in its media release.

The two students were unaware of their exposure last week and attended classes in the Allied Health Building (on the Union Ave. campus) Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, southwest reported in the release that also included this detail:

“While the risk of the spread of infection to other students as a result of this is low, out of the abundance of caution, the College is closing the Allied Health Building only through March 18 to provide our custodial services staff an opportunity to perform a deep cleaning of the building, paying particular attention to the radiologic technology classrooms, laboratories and equipment.  The cleaning will comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.”

Southwest is “closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and following protocols as set forth in our emergency response plan,” the college reported.

“Our priority is the health and safety of the Southwest community and public at large. Regular updates are provided to all stakeholders and the College has launched a coronavirus website that serves as an information hub to the campus community and beyond.”

Shelby County health officials said Sunday that one person who traveled out of state but not out of the country had contracted coronavirus. At the time, the report was that the patient was undergoing treatment in isolation at a hospital and was listed in good condition.

Three other cases have been confirmed in Middle Tennessee, including one announced Monday by the state health department.

Also Monday, the state Department of Commerce and Insurance requested that Tennessee insurance carriers waive coronavirus testing costs and refrain from using preauthorization requirements as a reason for not providing testing and treatment.

Where to find more information

The Health Department provides coronavirus information at www.shelbytnhealth.com and the CDC has additional information, including travel restrictions.