Nashville Rescue Mission updates COVID-19 response plans

Posted at 9:48 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 23:24:52-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Nashville’s COVID-19 numbers continue to increase, the Nashville Rescue Mission says a relatively small amount of the homeless population has been impacted.

The head of the Nashville Rescue Mission says the problems they’re facing with COVID-19 are unique.

“When you and I, when we are tested and need to stay away in isolation, we go home. They have no home,” said Glenn Cranfield, Nashville Rescue Mission CEO.

The mission has suspended volunteer efforts, and expanded an overflow shelter from their main campus, to the Fairgrounds.

“That allows us to take some folks out to the fairgrounds, to allow us to spread out a little bit here at the mission,” Cranfield said.

There are two other separate shelters set up at the fairgrounds — one for homeless experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 awaiting test results, and another for those who test positive for the virus.

“It has not really gone through the homeless communities like we had feared, we are very grateful for that,” Cranfield said.

In fact, the rescue mission says only two of their clients have tested positive for COVID-19 so far.

“We are working hard to make sure everything is disinfected, everything is clean, we are doing everything we can to keep people separate from one another as far as possible,” Cranfield said.


Nashville Fairgrounds used as temporary shelter for homeless during COVID-19 outbreak

MorningLine: COVID-19: How It Affects The Homeless Community


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.