Published On: March 16, 2020
Responding to COVID-19 in Nashville
It doesn’t take more than a trip to the grocery store to see that there is a lot of local concern over the COVID-19 virus. People are nervous. But a little information can help give you the tools you need to confront the situation with a clear mind. There is no need to panic, but a little preparation and mindfulness can go a long way.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, so we wanted to lay everything out in clear terms. Here’s what you should know and where to find more information about COVID-19 in Nashville.
Being aware of the symptoms of COVID-19 will let you know if you need to quarantine yourself away from other people. The initial symptoms of the virus, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are:
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms can show up anywhere between 2 and 14 days after the initial exposure to the virus. But even if a person isn’t showing symptoms, they can still be contagious and spread the virus to others.
Close attention to how you are feeling is the first line of defense against possibly spreading the virus to others. The virus will continue to progress into more advanced symptoms as time goes on:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
These symptoms, however, are not all of the possible symptoms. Consult with your doctor if any severe or concerning symptoms arise.
The virus can be dangerous to anyone that gets it, but there are groups of people that are much more vulnerable to the ravaging effects. These groups include:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Protecting Yourself From the Virus
Large groups of people contain the largest risk for exposure to the virus. This is why many companies are telling their employees to work from home, professional sports leagues are discontinuing play, and concerts are being canceled.
Stay home whenever possible. Limit your contact with groups of people. Those in a high-risk group should procure two weeks’ worth of essential materials like prescriptions and food. This way you don’t have to go to the store which drastically helps your chances of not contracting the virus.
However, this is not always possible. So be careful if you have to go into public or can’t work from home. This includes strict attention to hygiene such as thoroughly washing your hands after touching any public surfaces.
Personal space should be maintained at all times even when in public. Leave a buffer zone of at least six feet between yourself and anybody else.
What Should I Do If I Get Sick?
As we said before, paying attention to how you are feeling will give you the best warning that you might have contracted the virus. But also remember that it’s still possible to contract other illnesses. Simply not feeling well doesn’t expressly mean you have COVID-19. But if you have the above-stated symptoms, extreme caution is required.
Quarantine yourself away from family members and pets. COVID-19 hasn’t been shown to transfer back to animals from humans, but it’s still recommended you let another family member care for pets during this time.
Cover your mouth whenever you sneeze or cough, and wash your hands. Wear a facemask if entering shared areas. This will limit the potential for spreading the virus.
Hospitals and doctor’s offices are at risk of being overwhelmed with those seeking medical attention, so only go to the doctor if you notice the symptoms progressing. The effects can range from mild to severe so you should attempt to manage them as much as you can.
Call your medical provider if the symptoms progress and you feel you can’t manage them on your own. Let them know you are on your way and think you might have COVID-19. This will give them time to prepare and minimize the risk of infecting other patients and staff.
The Tennessee Department of Health offers a Coronavirus Public Information Line: 877-857-2945. Concerned citizens can call between 10 am and 10 pm (Central Time Zone) but be aware that call volume might be high. Call again if you get a busy signal.
The Vanderbilt University Medical Center has also instituted a hotline for patients and employees who think they might have contracted COVID-19: 888-312-0847 from 7 am-7 pm (Central Time Zone) seven days a week.
Mayor John Cooper released a statement addressing the COVID-19 Nashville outbreak response. Read the entire text here.
Nashville’s city government frequently updates this page with information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Check back frequently to stay up-to-date.