Hamilton County Health Department Coronavirus Update

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF)- Today our local health department wanted to put the word out to the public on plans, prevention and the status of Hamilton County as it relates to the Coronavirus.

The CDC says the spread of the Coronavirus is inevitable.

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The illness has reached 32 countries and territories including the United States.

But the Hamilton County Health Department doesn’t believe the public should live in fear.

“The last thing anybody needs to do is panic but at the same time I think that everyone needs to stay informed” said Hamilton County Health Officer Dr. Paul Hendricks

Health Officer Dr. Paul Hendricks says the Department is actively managing the potential outbreak of the Coronavirus even though it’s low risk.

But how will they respond if someone is diagnosed in our area?

“If someone showed up here with Coronavirus, they would be isolated. You put a mask on someone with an illness like that. Limit the spread of the virus. Protect all of the health care workers that take care of them.”

Wearing a mask is a good way to prevent the Coronavirus. Sanitizing your hands and cleaning your work space is also recommended. If you are sick it’s probably best not to come into work or go into any public spaces.

“The biggest risk factor is still travel contact with people who have traveled” said Dr. Hendricks.

“If someone does have a legitimate concern, we prefer that they contact either their own physician, their own practitioner or of they don’t have one then possibly emergency department first.”

If rapid exposure does occur, hospitals are prepared to go into quarantine mode. Dr. Hendricks says it would be a challenge for medical facilities.

He also says right now is not the time to be alarmed, “So far there are no cases in Tennessee much less Hamilton County. I think people need to not worry as a general rule and mostly go about their normal activities.”

“If people feel more comfortable staying away from large groups of people you know that’s a personal decision.”