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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Doctors plead with Tennessee governor for stay-at-home order

The governor has urged residents to work from home and ordered bars and restaurants to close for 14 days.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Doctors across Tennessee are pleading with Gov. Bill Lee to take stronger action to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Dr. Aaron Milstone warned on a webinair Tuesday that without action, tens of thousands of Tennesseans could die from the pandemic. Milstone is a pulmonary and critical care physician at Williamson Medical Center.

The governor has urged residents to work from home and ordered bars and restaurants to close for 14 days starting Monday with the exception of drive-thru, take-out, and delivery services.

But a group of more than 2,000 health care providers across the state is asking for an immediate stay-at-home order.

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Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.