NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee announced the Music City Center will become a COVID-19 treatment facility in order to care for the many Coronavirus patients expected in Nashville.
The convention center will serve patients who require hospital care, but do not require critical care. We’re being told the MCC will hold 1,600 patients when it's set up as a hospital in the next few weeks.
Lee made the announcement during his Thursday briefing. He also announced his signing of an executive order, requiring all Tennesseans to stay home unless for essential activities.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is working to get the center up and running. They first have to upgrade the facility's HVAC system and install piping to allow for oxygen and gas.
Next they will start getting rooms ready before getting supplies and bringing in staff. The corps has been working for two weeks to make sure it found the right place to serve Nashville.
Music City Center Director of Communications Renuka Christoph released the following statement:
“Music City Center prides itself in being a valuable resource to the community,” said Charles Starks, President/CEO of Music City Center. “We are honored to serve as a regional alternative care site for the state of Tennessee and city of Nashville during this critical time.”
On Wednesday, the governor and his team warned members of the General Assembly that the next two to four weeks will be a critical test of state resources as the state prepares to convert convention centers, college dormitories, hotels and other facilities into makeshift hospitals.
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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:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Or at least two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- 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.