Upon Governor Bill Lee delivering the news of the first COVID-19 case in Tennessee, Mayor Bill Ketron reached out to Rutherford County leaders, officials from other municipalities within the County, public safety agencies, local government communicators, Middle Tennessee State University, local hospital representatives, schools, and other county departments including the Department of Health to discuss how the County will handle the virus locally.
Rutherford County Health Department Director Dana Garrett is confident that the department is ready, as they already regularly train each year for outbreaks and other public health emergencies. “What we want the public to remember is that this is a MILD respiratory illness and the general level of risk for Tennesseans is very low,” said Garrett.
As of today, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Rutherford County. If there is a confirmed case at any point, the State Department of Health will be notified, as well as the public.
Persons experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness are urged not to report to the emergency room, but instead contact their primary healthcare provider. The Tennessee Department of Health has also issued an information line available from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm each day for the general public to ask questions about the virus. The number is 1-877-857-2945.
Common hygiene practices are also imperative to reducing the spread of germs with the most effective being:
- Washing hands (over 20 seconds) and frequently
- Covering cough or sneeze
- Avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Staying home if you are sick
- Staying away from people who are sick
“We want to do our very best to decrease the chances of this virus affecting our county by communicating with our citizens,” said Mayor Ketron, “but also want them to understand that we are ready to jump into action if it does.” For more information on COVID-19, please visit: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.