Video #6 Transcript 03/27/2020

Good evening Hamblen County.  Today is March 27, 2020.  Many have asked what can I expect to happen if I am diagnosed with COVID 19.  The TN Department of Health has published information summarizing the various steps an individual will experience if they are diagnosed with COVID19.   It is our hope this explanation will help you prepare if you were to become infected. 


First Step, you become concerned that you may have COVID 19 by having 2 or more of the following issues.  You have traveled to one of the areas designated as a hotspot with a high number of confirmed cases, you have a fever exceeding 100.4 and a cough, or you have made contact with an individual who has been confirmed as having COVID 19.


Second Step, you would call your primary care physician and discuss your medical condition with him or her. They will provide you with the necessary direction and guidance to be tested.  However, call 911, or go immediately to the doctor or hospital, if you are experiencing a life threatening conditions such as extreme difficulty in breathing.  Please be sure to inform all first responders that you may have the virus. 


Third Step, you have been tested and the results come back that you are positive.  Under normal situations, you will receive a call from the department of public health.  They will ask you a series of questions to about your activities before and after you became ill.  They are attempting to determine the scope of your infection and attempt to identify other individuals who may have become infected.  Please be very honest and open when talking with these public health officials.  They need all of the information they can get to more effectively stop the spread of the virus.  It may become more difficult for the health department to contact individuals if we begin to experience a high number of confirmed cases. 


Fourth Step, you should become socially responsible and isolate yourself.  You should isolate yourself at home for at least 7 days after you became ill and you should be feeling well and fever free for at least 3 days in a row before resuming normal activities.  Other members of your home should also self-isolate and you should not allow visitors into your home.  Stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home as much as possible.  Use a separate bedroom if available.  Other members of the family may self-isolate in another home if that is an option to help reduce the possibility of infection.  Individuals may be able to reduce the likelihood of infection by staying in a camper or second home away from the infected person.  It is not advisable to move in with friends or relatives if you have had close contact with someone infected.  Do not leave the house unless it is an absolute emergency.  Have friends and relatives get you food, medication and other necessities.  You can always contact Kellie Smith and we can arrange for these items to be delivered to you. 


Fifth Step, you should inform your close contacts.  This would include anyone you were within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more while you were sick.  In most situations, those individuals would also need to self-isolate for 14 days after their last contact with you. 


Sixth Step, there is no cure for COVID19 and you should get better within the week.  Get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and take medication to reduce your fever if necessary.


Seventh Step, arrange for care and medical attention if necessary.  In most cases, additional medical care will not be needed.  However, existing health issues may complicated the impact of COVID19 and individuals may need additional medical attention.  If so, contact your health care provider and explain your situation.  It is critical you inform them that you have been diagnosed with COVID19.  This will enable them to better serve you and enable them to better protect themselves. 


Eighth Step, continue to practice healthy habits.  Always cover your cough, sneeze into your elbow or tissue.  Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently. Don’t touch your face, mouth, or nose with your hands.  Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces frequently – including your phone.   Remember, it is your responsibility to practice heathy habits and decrease the chances of you spreading the virus to someone else. 


Throughout this process, it important to remain calm and use factual information from the CDC and the TN Department of Health to guide your decisions if you are infected.  It is very likely you will only experience mild flu-like symptoms for a week and you will recover without any medical attention unless you have other compromising health conditions.  Of course the most effective way to defeat the virus is to limit your exposure.  Many of us were extremely concerned about the virus when we first heard about it.  We followed all of the recommendations and were socially responsible.  As the days go by and the number of confirmed cases remain low in Hamblen County, we may begin to think the virus is not that serious.  We become tired of staying at home, become bored with not being in school, begin to miss various social activities, and we let down our guard just a little.  It is not much as first, but the road is slippery and the low number of confirmed cases will create a false sense of security within our community.  We have fared well over the last few weeks.  Let us be committed to practicing healthy habits and thus reduce the chances of the virus spreading in our community.  We hope you have a safe and healthy weekend and we will talk with you again on Monday.  Stay healthy Hamblen County!