Knox Public Health and Knox Community Hospital issued the following joint statement Friday, regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:
Local health officials, medical providers and administrators from both Knox Public Health and Knox Community Hospital have been working closely to develop a coordinated plan to ensure the Knox County medical community is prepared to address the COVID-19 outbreak.
While there is currently no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Knox County, both organizations expect that status to change in the near future and are proceeding under the assumption that the virus is currently spreading locally.
Early next week our organizations will release details about how we will effectively coordinate care for those in our community who may become infected with COVID-19 while at the same time ensuring that the process of screening and care for these patients takes place outside of our typical environments of care and with a measure of centralized clinical assessment.
This will be important in order to limit the spread of the virus, protect those in our community who are receiving routine care in clinical spaces, and to safeguard our local healthcare workforce, who will be vital to our success.
Most individuals who become infected with COVID-19 may feel ill for a few days or a couple of weeks, but will recover with no complications. It will be important to identify these individuals and for them to self-isolate at home to mitigate the spread of the virus locally.
For a small percentage of patients, the risks are greater due to factors such as age, underlying health conditions, and/or compromised immune systems. These patients may experience more serious complications and require additional care or hospitalization, and we will need to be prepared to care for them for longer periods of time.
We will have patients with COVID-19 in Knox County. We all need to work together to ensure there are as few as possible. Please wash your hands regularly. Begin practicing some measure of social distancing. Be aware of your own health and the health of those around you. Help those who need assistance as you are able.
We ask for your patience and cooperation as we continue to respond to a unique and rapidly-changing environment. We cannot predict how long this disruption will last, but we can continue working together. And we will get through this together.
Knox Public Health
Knox Community Hospital