Tennessee doctors warn against re-opening state too soon


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As more businesses prepare to re-open, a group of Tennessee doctors is sending a message saying don’t rush back. 

“Unlike the flu there is currently no treatment, no vaccine, and no defense, except physical separation from people,” said Dr. Aaron Milstone. 

Milstone is a pulmonary specialist treating COVID-19 patients. He has a warning for the public and employers. 

“We have to have an expanded, rapid contact tracing and isolation of cases so that we can break the train of transmission,” said Milstone. 

He believes the state’s response to coronavirus must improve and people shouldn’t be rushed back to work. Milstone has been outspoken in the past, part of a group representing 2,000 doctors who published a letter first demanding the safer at home order in March.

He now says, people need to stay apart as more are coming together.

“Stay away from restaurants and businesses where employees are not wearing masks or gloves.” 

COVID-19 cases in Tennessee increased by nearly 2,500 in the past week. On Tuesday’s call, Milstone stressed why rapid, recurring testing must be made more widely available especially for the most vulnerable.   

“A test today is simply today, and so if you test negative today, you could easily go to a restaurant or business tomorrow and get sick,” said Milstone.

Without it, he fears the virus will spread. He’s calling on state leaders to keep the focus here before turning to the economy. 

“They will be putting both the workers and the public at greater risk, again, for a disease that has no cure, no treatment,” Milstone said. “These guidelines are all predicated on the idea of staying apart and staying safe.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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