NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — On Wednesday, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced the formation of the state’s “Coronavirus Task Force” to develop public health solutions for the state as the virus is reportedly spreading.

There have been COVID-19 cases confirmed in neighboring states Georgia and North Carolina within the last week.

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The task force will be aid in enhancing Tennessee’s coordinated efforts for prevention, identification and treatment of potential COVID-19 coronavirus cases. A news release stated Wednesday the task force will develop and execute strong precautionary measures, resource allocation, and emergency response plans should the need arise in Tennessee.

“Don’t panic, be smart, be on top of it, follow the CDC’s guidance…. use common sense measures,” said Dr. Jonathan Moorman, Infectious Disease Division Chief, East TN State University, and one of the experts on the task force.

Several people were named to serve on the task force. The following Tennesseans will serve on the task force:

  • 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

“As confirmed cases of the coronavirus spread across the country, it is important that Tennessee remains prepared,” said Gov. Bill Lee. “To help us be even better prepared, this group of experts will work closely with me and my administration, along with local, state, and federal agencies as we continue to monitor any potential developments. I appreciate their willingness to serve our state.”

“There’s certainly the effort there to certainly do what is right,” said Moorman.

The first reported infected individuals showed symptoms as early as December 8. Those infections were discovered to be among stallholders from the Wuhan South China Seafood Market, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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