Metro Health Dept. asks public to take precautions as they prepare for Coronavirus

Local, state officials work together for emergency plan
Posted at 4:50 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 17:06:37-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Public Health Department asked Nashvillians to take precautions as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread.

Health officials say they are in continuing communication with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health and plans to approach COVID-19 with methods similar to those used for other potential threats such as the H1N1 flu virus, SARS, Ebola and Zika, and the re-emergence of more endemic diseases such as hepatitis A and measles.

They have been monitoring Davidson County residents who meet the CDC’s symptom and travel history guidelines. None identified locally have had the virus and there has been no local transmission in Nashville, or community-wide spread anywhere in the United States.

However, with a recent warning from the CDC, saying the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. is inevitable, Metro health officials are communicating with local and state officials to prepare for a possible outbreak.

Governor Bill Lee said the Tennessee Health Commissioner is developing a coordinated response with TEMA and local emergency preparedness teams on a local, statewide and federal level.

"It's important that we track this, and that's why we have daily interaction with health officials and with federal officials. We're very concerned about it, and we will also, by the way, be issuing public statements when and if the first case arrives in Tennessee.," said Governor Lee.

MPHD officials say they're reviewing its local preparedness plan, implementing an Incident Command System within the department to ensure direct and frequent communication both internally and externally and monitoring travelers who recently have been to China, per CDC guidance.

They're also briefing the Mayor’s office and other Metro department heads as well as providing local media updates and social media communications.

In the meantime, officials recommend everyone take routine precautions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as this one, including:

  • 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 cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

For more information COVID-19, visit the links listed below.

Metro Public Health Department: []

Tennessee Department of Health 2019 Novel Coronavirus Page: []

CDC Links: []

Frequently Asked Questions about 2019 Novel Coronavirus []

Guidance for Health Care Professionals []

Guidance for Travelers []