The Oak Ridge City Council will have a special meeting at noon Monday to discuss how the city is handling and addressing the new coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The special meeting will be in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom.
To help residents watch the meeting, the meeting will be broadcast on Comcast Channel 12 and will be streamed live by the city at www.oakridgetn.gov/councilstreaming.aspx. The meeting will also be audio- and video-recorded and posted on the city’s website as soon as possible after the meeting, a press release said.
“Due to the Centers for Disease Control advisory of limiting gatherings of 10 or more individuals, the city would encourage residents to watch the meeting through one of the methods provided above,” the press release said.
At the meeting, city leaders are set to discuss a resolution to declare a local state of emergency due to the novel coronavirus in order to prevent the spread of it. Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson will present a resolution regarding emergency leave for city employees, the press release said.
A resolution approving various emergency measures by the City of Oak Ridge in response to the impact that COVID-19 could have on utilities will also be presented, the release said.
The city manager and senior staff will answer questions on city operations and discuss a schedule for ongoing and future meetings.
The meeting will be open to the public to comply with the requirements of the Tennessee Open Meetings Act.
Residents who think they have to attend in person need to enter the building through the Court/Public Safety entrance in front of the council chambers at the Municipal Building located at 200 South Tulane Avenue, the press release said. If a visitor needs to enter through a handicapped-accessible entrance, they can come in through the entrance near the City Clerk’s office. They must call (865) 425-3411 or (865) 425-3414 to be let in.
There is limited space available due to spacing requirements caused by the virus.
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a new coronavirus first reported in China in December. It has since spread around the world, infecting more than 280,000 people and killing more than 11,000.
There are more than 18,000 cases in the United States, and 263 people have died as of mid-Saturday morning.
The Tennessee Department of Health reported 228 cases in the state on Friday. That was up from 154 on Thursday, which was up from 98 on Wednesday.
The first death in Tennessee due to coronavirus was reported in Nashville on Friday. The patient was a 73-year-old man with underlying health conditions who died due to complications from COVID-19, according to ABC News affiliate News Channel 9.
COVID-19 is reported to be more lethal than the flu. The disease is reported to have mild to moderate symptoms in most patients. But it can be more serious in some patients and sometimes require intensive care and sometimes result in death. Symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, fever, and shortness of breath, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. The health department said the people most vulnerable to COVID-19 are those older than 60 and those with chronic health conditions, including disabilities. More than half of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tennessee were between 21 and 40 years old, according to Tennessee Department of Health data published Friday. The health department asks you to call your healthcare provider before going to their office or emergency room if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Globally, more than 80,000 patients are reported to have recovered from COVID-19.