Virus

Vanderbilt University Medical Center staff reported Wilson County’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, on Wednesday afternoon.

Vanderbilt University Medical information officer Kylie Avery said the medical center’s Wilson County hospital had a patient receive a positive test for COVID-19. 

Avery said she could not discuss the severity of the symptoms the patient faced or the patient’s current condition, saying only that the person was in self-isolation at home. 

Avery did not comment about the number of tests that have been administered at Vanderbilt Wilson County Hospital, nor the number of tests that are currently in labs. 

The Vanderbilt Health Walk-In Clinic, located at 64 Belinda Parkway in Mt. Juliet, is a COVID-19 assessment site.

State officials said people should call their primary physician with concerns related to the virus. If the doctor is unable to administer an assessment, people should call the assessment site prior to going onsite. 

Most sites will do a phone assessment to determine if an in-person assessment or test is needed. 

Most individuals, particularly those with mild or no symptoms do not need a test, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. 

The Wilson County case is the 99th one reported in the state. Davidson County has the highest number of cases with 58. Most of the patients (67) are between the ages of 18 and 49.

Remote test centers are becoming available, Gov. Bill Lee said. Locations are at https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov/remote-assessment-sites.html.

The state has ordered 15,000 state workers to work from home or other alternative sites and that number will grow to 19,000.

In response to a question, Lee said he has not been tested for the coronavirus. Some of his staff have been tested, but he does not know how many.

Dr. Lisa Piercey of the Department of the Health Department spoke about ventilators. Everyone in the nation wants them. The state ordered 570 today, but because of challenges, the state will receive only some of them “soon.” The state will prioritize any deployment of those.

Regarding virus testing, the state is testing only a few people per day. As more tests are done, there will be a climb in reported cases.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday he is activating the Defense Production Act in case it is needed.

Last week he signed an emergency declaration to activate FEMA, which is “fully engaged” in every region, at Level 1, the highest level of response.

Two hospital ships are being activated, the Mercy and the Comfort, and will stage in New York and somewhere near the West Coast. They may be launched in a week or so.

The first clinical trial of a vaccine began in Washington State recently. Officials are developing a self-swab test.

HUD will give immediate relief by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until April.

“We must sacrifice together. We’ll come through it together. We’re going to defeat the invisible enemy, I think we’re going to do it faster than we thought,” Trump said.

Vice President Mike Pence said his virus task force reports cases in all 50 states. “(Tuesday) the president met with tourist and medical supply executives. Today, the border with Canada will be closed to non-essential travel, which does not include goods.

“The president spoke with business leaders about the supply chain. The administration will continue talking to state governments.

“On testing, the administration is increasing the number of tests performed by thousands a day using commercial labs. However, people without symptoms should not take the test to help the supply chain.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, a task force member, said there are concerning trends about young people in Italy and France.

The millennials may experience a disproportionate number of infections. There are no big fatalities among children. She called on Millennials to protect each other and so avoid large gatherings for people who are off work. They can spread the virus to someone with a medical condition.

Tests have been sent first to areas with the greatest need, so some areas still do not have a lot of tests.

The Department of Defense will give up to 5 million respirator masks from its reserves to the Department of Health and Human Services. T

Trump said the Defense Production Act will give the government certain controls over business to order large numbers of equipment like ventilators and respirators.

A reporter challenged Trump on the hospital shortage of ventilators and asked why it took so long to sign the Defense Production Act. Trump said “we’ll have to see where it goes,” and “we are ordering thousands and thousands of ventilators.”

Pence said the nation has over 10,000 ventilators in stock. That does not include ventilators at medical centers.

Birx said the recent deaths are from infections that happened 2-3 weeks ago.

“We have to protect the elderly,” Birx said.

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