What should I do if I’m sick or a family member is sick?

Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you have deemed that you have an actual emergency.

If you or a family member is sick, please first call your primary care doctor, a nurse hotline or an urgent care center before going to the hospital.

The Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Poison Control Center have launched Coronavirus Public Information Hotlines.

The Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Lines are (833) 556-2476 or (877)-857-2945.

These hotlines are available daily from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. (Central Time Zone). *Call volume may be high, so callers are urged to call again if getting a busy signal.

In addition, local healthcare systems have Coronavirus hotlines for patients on their websites.

People outside the greater Nashville area with respiratory illnesses should contact their primary care provider.

Check online resources like the CDC website if you are worried that you or a loved one has the COVID-19 virus.

Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

What should I do if I’m sick or a family member is sick and needs to go to the hospital or a medical provider? How can I protect others?

If possible, walk or drive yourself to the hospital or medical provider. If another person must accompany you, protect them from exposure to the virus: stay 6 feet away from other people, maintain good respiratory hygiene, avoid touching surfaces or faces, and wash hands frequently.

What if I am diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus or have been exposed to someone who was?

If you have been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, you will need to be isolated to protect those around you. If you were exposed to someone who was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus, you should quarantine for the recommended time in order to not expose others if you happen to have the virus yourself. Contact your healthcare provider if you have additional questions, or go to  http://covid19.memphistn.gov

Can I visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility, or other residential care facility?

Generally these facilities are not allowing visitors. There are limited exceptions. Please visit the website of the facility for the guidelines for that facility.

What are the social distancing guidelines I still need to follow?

The best way to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Avoid groups (stay at least six feet away from others).
  • Reduce the time you are around others outside the home, even when at least six feet away.

When practicing social distancing, how far should I stay away from others if I must be away from my home?

At least six (6) feet, which is appropriately two to three steps away, including if you are on the bus or train. This is why it’s important to only take public transportation for essential activities–you want to help everyone be able to practice social distancing.

What if I’m in a line and there isn’t six feet between me and others?

You should still try to maintain a least six feet between you and others. When that isn’t possible for short periods, do your best to keep the duration short. Be sure when you are in line that you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on.

How can I access free or reduced price meals for myself or my family?

Schools, soup kitchens, food banks, and other entities that provide free or reduced priced food goods or meals to students or other members of the public are encouraged to continue providing these services. However, food provided by these establishments to the public may not be eaten on the premises but must instead be delivered or taken away for consumption.

How will I entertain my kids? Can we go to the playground or arrange playdates?

Do your best to entertain your children with games, reading, puzzles, and TV/videos at home. Engage them in educational online tools. However, you should not take them to the playground or arrange playdates. Children are not able to maintain social distance, and even adults are prohibited from socializing with friends in this manner. It is essential that we stop the spread of the virus by not having in-person social interactions.