Tennessee hospitals plead for masking, vaccinations amid severe COVID-19 surge

The Tennessee Hospital Association is urging communities to help combat COVID-19 as every hospital in the state experiences capacity issues. "Every hospital in our state is experiencing capacity issues due to the surge in COVID patients," Wendy Long, MD, CEO of the THA, said in an Aug. 19 statement. 

"All ICU beds are currently full in most hospitals in every major metropolitan area of the state," Dr. Long wrote. Several Nashville hospitals are running low on beds, staff and morale. 

From July 1 to Aug. 15, COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide have increased more than 800 percent, from fewer than 300 patients to more than 2,300, according to Dr. Long. The THA is urging more community members to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and wear masks indoors.

Over the past few weeks, vaccination rates in Tennessee have increased, but, "it's not enough," according to Dr. Long. "To reduce the strain on our hospital system and prevent more illness and death, more Tennesseans need to get vaccinated."

"Please help ensure there is a bed available for all Tennesseans in their time of need by reducing the spread of COVID by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public spaces," the THA CEO concluded.


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