CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Having made thousands of face mask donations in the last three weeks, Operation Come Together (OCT) is supporting more than 40 hospitals, clinics, pharmacies and first responders in the Middle Tennessee area.
In a press release, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Clarksville Police Department and Clarksville Fire Rescue and EMS thanked OCT for the donation they received from the nonprofit, comprising 865 face masks and 475 face shields.
OCT operates solely through volunteers and donations, with operations in Clarksville, Nashville, Dover, Erin, Greenbriar, Goodlettsville and Fort Campbell. In the last three weeks, they have made a total of nearly 10,500 face mask and 4,000 face shield donations to healthcare workers and first line responders to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the large number of donations they've been able to make, OCT still has over 2,000 face mask requests waiting to be fulfilled. To learn more about the organization, volunteer or donate, visit their website.
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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.