Find information about what is happening in Williamson County, prevention advice from the CDC, updates from the Tennessee Department of Health, and more: http://www.williamsonready.org/266/Coronavirus-Disease
All Williamson County Residents Urged to Take Preventive Measures
The Williamson County Health Department is working in partnership with other local, regional and state officials to implement prevention and mitigation strategies for local communities based on guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and by state leadership. Williamson County has a local preparedness plan for pandemics that is practiced at least once a year, and this plan is the basis for the county’s response to COVID-19. Local leaders are making decisions based on the needs and best interest of Williamson County citizens.
“We’re working to ensure that everyone in Williamson County that has a clinical picture consistent with COVID-19 can be tested,” said Cathy Montgomery, Williamson County Health Department Director. “We need all Williamson County residents to join the effort to prevent further spread of this illness in our communities.”
It is important to note the testing process for COVID-19 is not like that of something like a rapid flu test, with results provided on the spot. Testing for COVID-19 is conducted in the laboratory, so tests themselves are not distributed to health care facilities. Rather, health care providers take samples from their patients and submit them to a laboratory for testing.
Many health care providers can assess patients for COVID-19 and collect samples to submit for testing. People who have concerns about their health should contact their regular health care providers, who can assess their risk and determine if they should be tested. People who don’t have insurance and have concerns they may have symptoms of COVID-19 can contact the Williamson County Health Department for consultation and to talk through potential options for assessment.
Most people, particularly those with mild or no symptoms, do not need assessment for COVID-19. Public health authorities are prioritizing testing of people in high-risk categories: contacts of confirmed cases; people in occupations with exposure to large numbers of contacts; health care workers; nursing home residents; severely immunocompromised patients; critically ill patients; pregnant women; and people who have traveled to areas with high case counts.
Anyone concerned about their health should first contact their regular health care provider. If you feel you need treatment, call the health care provider or facility first, so they can arrange for your arrival if you need to come in, and can accommodate you while reducing risk of exposing other people to illness.
There are lots of things everyone in Williamson County can do to help flatten the curve and reduce the impact of COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand rub) for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your arm or a tissue
- Clean and disinfect objects (e.g., cell phone, computer) and high touch surfaces regularly
Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness including older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease. It’s extra important for people in these groups to take actions to reduce their risk of getting sick with COVID-19:
- Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
- When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often
- Avoid crowds as much as possible
- Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
- During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed
For a list of assessment sites, please visit https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/remote-assessment-sites.html.
By Patsy Watkins MPS, CFCSFamily & Consumer Sciences Agent, UT/TSU Extension, Williamson County
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
All types of flu have similar symptoms that include:
•A 100°F or higherfever
•Coughing or sorethroat
•A runny or stuffynose
•Headaches and/orbody aches
•Nausea, vomiting,and/or diarrhea
In general, the flu is worse than the common cold and a test can determine whether you have the cold or flu.
Everyday steps that can help stop the spread of germs are washing hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub; avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth; get plenty of sleep and exercise, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy foods; and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
Getting Vaccinated each season is the single best way to prevent the flu. The people who should get vaccinated are people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people who are 65 years or older, and everyone 6 months of age or older should get the vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people get vaccinated as soon as the flu season vaccine becomes available because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.