With the news surrounding coronavirus — also known as COVID-19 — seemingly changing daily, the Tennessee Bar Association is monitoring developments and taking any necessary precautions to ensure the safety of staff and members. We will only move forward with our meetings and programs in accordance with direction from global, federal, and local health officials, like the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Tennessee Department of Health.
In accordance with CDC Guidance on Prevention & Treatment, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Some basic hygiene considerations include:
• Staying home if you are ill or caring for others who are ill
• Avoiding close contact with those who are sick
• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
• Cleaning or disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces
• Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
• If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
• If your children are sick, keep them at home. Contact your medical provider.
• If someone in your household has tested positive for the Coronavirus, keep the entire household at home.
• If you are an older American, stay home and away from other people.
• If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition—such as a significant heart or lung problem—stay home and away from other people.
All Americans are also encouraged to practice "social distancing," which calls for not gathering in groups larger than 10 and staying six feet away from others. This guidance was extended to April 30 on March 29.
On April 3, the CDC recommended wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Get additional information about the COVID-19 pandemic from these sources:
• World Health Organization
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Resources and References
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Twitter
• National Institutes of Health
• Tennessee Department of Health
Health Insurance Resources
The TBA Humana Association Health Plan is waiving out-of-pocket costs associated with testing for COVID-19. Humana is encouraging members to use telemedicine as the first line of defense for all urgent care needs. Costs will be waived for telemedicine visits for urgent care needs for the next 90 days. UPDATE: On March 30, the company announced it would waive consumer costs for treatment related to COVID-19-covered services. Learn more about TBA Group Health Insurance and the TBA's Telehealth Program.
Mental Health Resources
In addition to health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Americans, including lawyers, are experiencing added stress and worry during this time. There are many resources available to help in these challenging times. The following are just a few:
Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program - TLAP is a free, confidential assistance program providing consultation, referral, intervention and crisis counseling for lawyers, judges, bar applicants and law students who are struggling with substance abuse, stress or emotional health issues. Judges, attorneys and others in the legal profession may also refer colleagues to the program. Contact TLAP at 877- 424-8527 or 615-741-3238. Read a recent message from TLAP Commission Chair Judge Michael Spitzer or download a two-page summary of resources.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention - Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
Harvard Business Review - "That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief," March 23, 2020
Nashville Psych - Nashville Tornadoes, Coronavirus & Ways To Help Manage Your Anxiety
Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Free, confidential 24/7 support for people in distress; prevention and crisis resources. Call 1-800-273-TALK
Other Hot Lines:
• Child Abuse Prevention - 800-356-6767
• Parent Helpline - 1-800-CHILDREN
• Statewide Domestic Violence - 800-356-6767