Metro sees uptick in number of essential workers with COVID-19

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Posted at 7:47 AM, Apr 22, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Coronavirus Task Force reported a recent uptick in the number of essential workers who contracted Coronavirus.

The task force released its latest heat map of Davidson County on Tuesday. It shows the areas that saw the highest number of new cases in the past week.

The so-called "hot zones" are shaded in red on the map.

The Metro Department of Health has identified many of the new cases as essential workers who may not have a choice but to go to work right now. In addition, a large number of these cases are also minorities.

The health department is partnering with the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition to reach out to these communities.

Leslie Waller, an epidemiologist with the Metro Health Department of Health, said they'll hire as many as eight community leaders to help with outreach.

“Their roles will include sharing critical information and education, identifying barriers to testing, diagnosis and quarantine, and providing cases management programs to people who contract COVID,” Leslie Waller said.

The state is also encouraging more engagement from the communities most impacted by COVID-19.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


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.