HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Hamilton County’s mask mandate was set to expire on November 22nd, but due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the United States and in our area, Mayor Jim Coppinger, in a news conference today, announced the importance of extending the county’ s mask mandate.
“I’m going to ask the health department to continue the mask mandate. We will continue the mandate until January the 15th, 2021,” says Mayor Jim Coppinger, Hamilton County.
According to an Infectious Disease doctor, the United States has witnessed an increase of more than 1 million new coronavirus cases in the last 6 days- with Hamilton County reporting over 250 new cases daily.
“Positivity rates are about 13-14% up from our plateau of about 8%. Hospitalizations are up significantly. ICU cases are up as well. I think at this particular point we just got to take it seriously,” says Dr. Adam Soufleris, infectious disease doctor.
Family members shared the harsh reality of having a loved one die from Covid-19 while inside the hospital.
“He fought a good fight but lost the battle with the aftermath of this horrible virus. We werent allowed to go see him, touch him. We had to care for him from a very long distance of home.Then you get the call saying ‘He is at the end of his life so you can come say goodbye’ but then you get there and you still can’t be in the room with him,” says Emily and Melissa Baskette.
Health officials say they are looking forward to having a vaccine available to the public soon, but that it could still be a few months.
Until then, they are urging citizens to work together by following mandates and social distancing guidelines.