Tennessee is yet again setting new records for COVID hospitalizations. As of Wednesday, more than 1,700 people are severely ill with the virus, and conditions around the state are worsening.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reports new cases, regional hospitalizations and deaths are all on the rise in Knox County, and in Chattanooga, the pandemic is the worst it’s ever been. The Times Free Press reports that Hamilton County has an average positivity rate above 10%. That’s the threshold that tells public health officials there are likely even more cases than they’re picking up with testing
In Gallatin, Sumner Regional Medical Center is now at capacity. News Channel 5 reports the hospital is having to turn away COVID-19 patients and divert them to other medical facilities with open beds.
Gov. Bill Lee has continually said he will not create a statewide mask mandate, though many counties have them in place. Doctors are urging people to be vigilant and not let their guard down as the virus spreads. That means wearing a mask, staying socially distant and avoiding exposure to people outside your household.