Tennessee Health Commissioner Says Hospitals Approaching Critical Capacity

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Credit: ZUMA / MGN

Nashville, TN (Newschannel5.com) – Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said that state hospitals are approaching critical capacity. In a news conference Sunday afternoon, Piercey cited recent trends showing Tennessee with more new COVID cases by population last week than any other state according to the CDC.

“This isn’t just about COVID, this is about having access to lifesaving care… It is going to require Tennesseans change their interpersonal behavior over the next couple weeks. If we have another surge after Christmas or New Year like we did over Thanksgiving, it will completely break our hospitals.”

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The latest hospital numbers released Sunday showed 2,789 non-ICU hospital patients with confirmed cases of the virus. Newschannel5.com reported that statewide there are over non-COVID 8,400 non-ICU hospital patients. There are over 740 ICU patients with COVID statewide, along with over 1,500 ICU patients with other illnesses.

Tenenssee Governor Bill recently authorized the National Guard to help fill nursing roles, drive ambulances and perform coronavirus testing for overstretched hospitals. Governor also signed a new executive order Sunday that limits public indoor gatherings to 10 people.