Covid-19 Task Force concerned about a Christmas Surge

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Hamilton County is currently reporting 3,900 active coronavirus cases and a total 247 deaths and the numbers are still climbing.

With the county still struggling to recover from the Thanksgiving surge, the Covid-19 task force now has more reasons than ever to be concerned about post Christmas numbers. 

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“We really want to implore our friends and our neighbors to embrace the holiday spirit by avoiding social gathering and taking every step to protect yourself and your loved ones from this virus,” says Rae Bond, Covid-19 Task Force. 

Health Officials say they are worried if people refuse to follow the recommended guidelines this holiday season, the consequences could overwhelm our local hospitals.

“As a community we really need to do our best to avoid overwhelming our hospitals. It’s important that the hospitals can stay open for procedures that don’t have anything to do with Covid-19,” says Bond. 

The task force wants to remind residents that just because vaccinations are happening it doesn’t mean this pandemic is going to get better immediately.

“Things possibly can get worse. A lot of people are traveling for the holidays and it is really hard not to be with your family at christmas and i can attest to that. It breaks my heart. But i want to be able to have all the holidays in our future together and if i’m not sensible right now that might now happen,” says Bond. 

The Alstom Covid-19 testing site is open daily between the hours of 10:00 am – 2:30 pm but will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

Let’s have a merry Christmas – from 6 feet away. 

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Joeli Poole joined the WDEF News 12 Team in April 2019 as a Reporter and Producer. You can find her reporting during the week and when not on camera; she's producing the 6 and 11 shows. Joeli grew up with a love for reporting, starting in middle school. She has been the anchor for her middle and high school TV stations, along with the Sports Anchor for her College TV Station. Joeli grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and moved to Tennessee when she 10 years old. She went to Cleveland Middle school and Walker Valley High School. She graduated in May of 2019 from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a bachelor's degree in Communications. Being from the area, Joeli loves being able to help tell the stories of her community. In her spare time, Joeli enjoys watching her LSU Tigers, hiking, and playing with her dog. Feel free to email any story ideas at jpoole@wdef.com.