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Metro issues order urging Davidson County residents to wear masks in public

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Posted at 10:01 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 11:03:05-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The Metro Public Health Department has issued an order, urging all residents to wear face coverings while in public.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Thursday that he’s directed the health department to issue Order Number 4, per CDC guidelines, to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“Remember, we will have the virus with us until there is a vaccine,” said Cooper.

Cooper compared the importance of face coverings to wearing seat belts and having child safety seats, saying the pandemic requires everyone to take certain actions.

The order also says that businesses should require employees to wear face coverings and post signage urging customers to wear a mask while inside the store.

Dr. Michael Caldwell said there's no specific mandate for the order but said they want everyone to follow it.

Metro also announced that the “Stay-at-Home” order for Davidson County is extended until at least May 8.

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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.

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.