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Free training to be available for COVID-19 health care workers in Tennessee

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Posted at 9:08 PM, Apr 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-18 12:14:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee announced the state's public-private partnership with HealthStream to help train professionals and volunteers that will be working with COVID-19 patients.

HealthStream is a publicly traded, Tennessee company that provides education resources for 80% of hospitals in the country.

HealthStream's learning platform, COVID training content, and employee support will be made available to Tennessee for free to facilitate the launch of the state's Alternative Healthcare Facilities which will treat any overflow of COVID-19 patients.

The effort is part of the Unified Command's surge planning efforts, which includes converting large facilities like the Music City Center into a treatment facility.

The governor's office praised HealthStream for having a "tremendous reputation," saying "we believe that their generous offer to make training resources free to the professionals, volunteers, and returning healthcare workers that will be staffing the Alternative Healthcare Facilities is going to ensure high-quality care is delivered."

One of Gov. Lee's executive orders is also helping prepare for overflow patients by making sure those facilities will be staffed.

The order allows retired medical professionals and temporarily suspsends continual education requirements for health care workers.

Retired and furloughed health care workers are encouraged to sign up through the Department of Health portal [tn.gov] if they are willing to serve. So far, over 800 health care personnel have engaged with us.

MORE TENNESSEE COVID-19 COVERAGE

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COUNTY-BY-COUNTY CASES IN TENNESSEE

What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.

Prevention

The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.