COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Tennessee. New developments are coming everyday in regards to the numbers associated with the virus as well as the state’s response.
We thought we’d give an up-to-date snapshot of where we’re at here in Tennessee, and more specifically, Davidson County. So here are the recent numbers and actions along with the recommended best practices for keeping you and your family safe.
Number of Cases in Tennessee
As of this writing, Tennessee has 78 active cases of COVID-19. 42 of those cases are here in Davidson County. However, it should also be known that testing for the virus has only recently become more widely available and these numbers are expected to climb as more tests are completed.
In fact, the New York Times reports that for every known case of COVID-19, there are another five to 10 cases that are undiagnosed.
Actions by the Government
The need for testing sites is a major focal point of a lot of government action. We won’t truly know how to best address the crisis if we don’t know how bad it actually is. This is why Governor Bill Lee has announced the opening of 15 remote COVID-19 testing sites across the state. This includes both tents as well as walk-in facilities that will test for the virus.
The governor has also urged all Tennessee school districts to close by Friday, March 20th. The Department of Education has received two nutrition waivers from the US Department of Agriculture to continue providing meals for those who depend on them. Meals will be provided through a flexible delivery model.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services is offering a new policy for qualified families to receive cash assistance by utilizing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds. This will provide $1,000 for a family of five or more that has had a job loss as a result of the illness. This program is expected to be operational within a week. The application will be found here when it becomes available.
Unemployment benefits are expected to become available to those put out of work as a result of COVID-19. Officials are still working with economists to find the best course of action. This will also apply to those instructed to quarantine themselves by a physician. Applications for unemployment benefits can be found here.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper has ordered the closure of all bars throughout Davidson County. He also restricted the capacity of restaurants. The Metro Board of Health approved this action and declared a public health emergency.
The Nashville School District closed all schools ahead of their scheduled Spring Break on Friday, March 13th and will remain closed until at least Friday, April 3rd.
All locations of the Nashville Public Library have closed until Thursday, April 6th.
All public transportation, as well as the Nashville International Airport, remain fully-operational as of this writing.
These are the initial symptoms that may appear between 2 and 14 days, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Shortness of breath
These advanced symptoms require immediate medical attention:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of symptoms. Consult a medical professional if you are experiencing any severe or concerning symptoms.
It should also be highlighted that a person can carry the virus and be contagious for up to two weeks before experiencing any symptoms. This is why the government is suggesting social distancing to prevent unknowing spreading of the virus.
What to Do If You Think You’re Sick
Many people that become infected with COVID-19 won’t require immediate medical attention. Stay home and quarantine yourself away from family members and pets if you are displaying mild symptoms.
However, there are groups of people that carry a higher risk of severe symptoms such as older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
People in these groups should seek medical attention as soon as they believe they become infected with COVID-19. Call your health care provider before arriving at their facility. This gives them time to prepare for your arrival.
How to Protect Yourself
The best thing you can do at the moment is to stay home. Work remotely, if possible. Avoid going into public for any unnecessary reason. Those in the high-risk group should procure two weeks’ worth of medications and food.
And if you have to go into public, maintain strict sanitary practices. Don’t touch your face until you are able to thoroughly wash your hands. Keep a distance of six feet between yourself and others.
Where to Get Tested
The remote assessment sites are located throughout the state and can be found here.
The list of assessment sites from Vanderbilt University Medical Center can be found here. Note that they will not test individuals for COVID-19 that aren’t actively displaying signs of the virus—new onset cough (within the last seven days), high fever, and shortness of breath.