GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Sumner County residents will be under a "safer at home" order beginning 12:01 a.m. March 24.
In Mayor Anthony Holt's declaration, the order will last at least seven days, with the possibility of extension.
The order was made to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the new coronavirus, and slow the spread.
Sumner County residents are urged to shelter at home whenever possible. You may leave your home, but practice social distancing.
County parks will remain open, but gatherings of 10 or more people are banned.
Under the order, nonessential businesses must close. Essential businesses include grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, convenience stores, pharmacies and gas stations. Click here for more information on what "essential business" means.
According to the mayor's office, those experiencing homelessness will not be subject to the order, but are encouraged to follow CDC guidance, including hand hygiene and social distancing.
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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.