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Gov. Bill Lee forms Tennessee coronavirus task force to monitor developments in the virus

The task force will be made up of officials from the Department of Health, experts, business and community leaders.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — As more cases of COVID-19 are found across the U.S., Governor Bill Lee announced Wednesday that he would create a new task force in Tennessee to monitor the spread of the illness and prepare in case the virus spreads to the state.

The task force will develop precautionary measures and emergency response plans. Lee announced that one case of coronavirus was reported in the state on Thursday, during a press conference.

The task force is made up of 15 people, according to a press release from officials:

  • Dr. Lisa Piercey, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Health
  • Dr. Penny Schwinn, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Education
  • Dr. Jonathan Moorman, Infectious Disease Division Chief, East TN State University
  • Dr. Martha Buchanan, Director, Knox County Metro Health Dept.
  • Mike Krause, Executive Director, TN Higher Education Commission
  • Bradley Jackson, President and CEO, TN Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Tom Talbot, Chief Hospital Epidemiologist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Dr. Jonathan Perlin, Chief Medical Officer, HCA
  • Dr. Wendy Long, President and CEO, TN Hospital Association
  • Dr. Sara Cross, Infectious Disease Chief, Regional One Health
  • Holly Sullivan, Director of Worldwide Economic Development, Amazon
  • Doug Kreulen, Chief Executive Officer, Nashville International Airport
  • Jeff Aiken, President, TN Farm Bureau
  • David Lusk, Director, FedEx Global Security Operations Center
  • Rebecca Kelly, State Director, AARP Tennessee

The illness is typically known as 'coronavirus.' However, coronavirus is a family of different strains of sickness. The COVID-19 strain sparked global panic as it spread from Wuhan, China, to several European countries and a few U.S. states. 

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It has a fatality rate of around 3 percent, according to data from ArcGIS. Other illnesses in the coronavirus family have fatality rates of around 10 percent and 30 percent.

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There have been 108 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to ArcGIS. People with the virus may have flu-like symptoms and anyone who feels sick should stay home and focus on recovering. Otherwise, they risk spreading illnesses to others around them, whether it's in the coronavirus family or not.

People worried about catching COVID-19 should act the same way they would during the flu season. Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, avoiding contact with people who are sick and thoroughly washing hands can help everyone stay healthy.

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