TENNESSEE, USA — With Tennessee slowly beginning to reopen, doctors warn against it saying the virus could cause more damage to the economy if we open too early.
Dr. Aaron Milstone, speaking on behalf of over 2,000 Tennessee doctors, said they are completely against reopening. He went on to say he understands the pain of small business owners across the state, "in fact, many of us own small businesses too and are hurting."
He said if officials and citizens are not careful, a worse economic downfall could be just around the corner. He continued, "let us be clear, it is not safe to reopen."
Milstone said the only way he would feel comfortable opening is if the state mandates regular, proactive testing on asymptomatic people to ensure they are not spreading the virus unknowingly; the state implements expanded, rapid contact tracing to ensure those who have come in contact with COVID-positive people stay home; and the state ensures protection for first responders and health care workers from the virus.
"In order to protect citizens in the state, front line healthcare workers but first be able to ensure they themselves are protected," Milstone said.
A nurse with a face mask to protect against coronavirus stands at the registration of the central emergency department during a presentation for media at the University Hospital in Essen, Germany, Thursday, March 26, 2020. Hospitals in Germany ready themselves for an expected growing number of COVID-19 patients in the coming weeks. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
He said tests only show negativity up to that date. It will not keep you from contracting the virus the next day.
"Only regular, routine testing for every citizen is going to solve this problem," he said.
Milstone and his fellow colleagues wrote an open letter to Governor Bill Lee saying he should keep the state closed. Milstone said since that did not happen, he wants citizens to follow a few tips when out and about.
Milstone said only go out when needed. If you go out, wear masks and gloves still. He continued to say, "remember, we are still in a global pandemic."
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He said if people want to go out, they should follow these simple tips:
Do not eat in restaurants where tables are closer than 6 feet apart. Do not hang out in crowds larger than 10 people, and do not get within 6 feet of those you are with. Do not go to sporting events. Do not go to summer camps where it is "impossible" to social distance.
Milstone wants citizens and employers to stay at home as much as possible. He said the only way for this pandemic to end is to continue social distancing until there is a drop in cases.
"Remember, there is no treatment, there is no cure, except staying away from other people," he said.
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