Health department works to alert Tennessee Amish community of COVID-19

Posted at 6:21 AM, Mar 19, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Many have been wondering how certain segments of the population get information about the COVID-19 pandemic, including the large Amish community in Lawrence County.

The Amish typically do not watch TV news or follow other media sources. But of course, they too need the latest information on this illness and word is they are getting it.

The Tennessee Department of Health says they work with the Lawrence County Health Department on outreach. There is a long-standing relationship with the local Amish community there.

They've hosted meetings to share the latest information on the coronavirus, which have been well-attended.

To date, there are no reports of the illness within the Amish community there.


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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.


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.