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Posted on: March 12, 2020

What You Should Know About The Coronavirus?

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Information regarding the Coronavirus outbreak is available from the US Center for Disease Control, the Tennessee Department of Health, and the World Health Organization. These organizations offer the most accurate and timely information regarding the Coronavirus.


What is COVID-19? What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, these range from the common cold and influenza to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A recently discovered strain of the coronavirus causes COVID-19. This strain was not widely recognized until an outbreak in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Should I be worried about COVID-19? 

If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or if you have not travelled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting it are extremely low. Attention should be paid to State and County Health updates for the latest information on COVID-19 in the event it spreads in our region.

Almost everyone who is infected recovers without needing special treatment. Less than 17% of those infected become seriously ill and develop some difficulty breathing. The elderly and those with underlying medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious symptoms. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, persistent cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms closely resemble other respiratory illnesses. Symptoms include dry cough, fever, runny nose, sore throat, and fatigue. Less commonly, people have reported aches and pains or diarrhea.

Some people become infected and do not show any symptoms or feel unwell; however, they may still transmit the illness to others even though they seem healthy. As a result, some individuals are asked to self-quarantine if they come in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 spreads like other viruses. Virus spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth that are transmitted through coughing or exhaling. Commonly, these droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Some people who touch these objects or surfaces and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth may become infected. It is also important to stay more than three feet away from a person who is sick to avoid the virus transmitted through airborne transmission.

What should I do? 

Do the things you normally do to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like the flu or the common cold. Vigilant application of good hygiene is also important, such as:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Select a room in your house to utilize if you must self-quarantine.
  • Stay informed on the latest updates.

What should I do if I have respiratory or flu symptoms? 

Call your doctor’s office or local clinic. The medical clinics in the City are excellent and can provide the necessary medical care required. You might also use tele-health options if available through your insurance carrier.

Your doctor may recommend self-quarantine or isolation. Be prepared in advance should these be necessary.

How does self-quarantine and isolation work? 

As is always the case, if you have viral (flu) symptoms, distance yourself from all social activities to prevent the spread of a virus to others. You may also be asked to self-quarantine if you have been exposed to someone else who may be infected.

Self-quarantine is for people who have been exposed but do not have symptoms; they are asked to stay away from others in public settings. For COVID-19, the recommended period of quarantine is 14 days from their last possible exposure. Self-quarantine means you should not go to work, school, or any public places where you could have close contact with others.

For those who are showing symptoms and have contacted their doctor, isolation is the best course of action. Isolation is used for people who are currently ill and able to spread the disease and who need to stay away from others to avoid infecting them. Isolation may include staying away from other family members to prevent the spread of the virus.

How can I prepare for self-quarantine or isolation?

  • Follow the guidance of your health care provider.
  • Be sure you have enough food at home for at least 14 days.
  • To treat symptoms, have a supply of over the counter cold medications for at least 14 days.
  • If you regularly take prescription medication, arrange for a sufficient supply.
  • If you feel sick, monitor your symptoms and take your temperature twice a day.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Have a supply of hygiene products like tissues, soap, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.

What is the City doing to prepare? How will my services be affected? 

The City is monitoring the situation and will take appropriate steps if warranted. City Departments have plans in place to ensure the continuation of essential services such as Police, Fire, Power, Water Resources. If the situation becomes more serious, some services may be temporarily reduced or suspended.

In all cases, Police and Fire Rescue services will operate fully and have all of the necessary equipment as well as implement safety and protection protocols to ensure continued operations.

Additional resources to stay informed and prepare for COVID-19 and other emergency situations: 

Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line: 1-877-857-2945

Center for Disease Control 

Tennessee Department of Health 

World Health Organization 

Rutherford County Health Department 

City of Murfreesboro website information 

Coronavirus Information webpage
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