Hospitals in much of the country are filling up with COVID-19 cases. But staffing — not space — is the main concern, and bringing in backups from out of town isn’t the solution it was early in the pandemic, when the surge was concentrated in a handful of cities.
As COVID-19 hospitalizations set new records nearly every day in Tennessee, doctors are speaking out about the dire situation they see in their emergency rooms with patients traveling hours to find a hospital that has space for them.
Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients show no sign of slowing down in Tennessee, with a new high almost every day. But so far, the surge has not triggered the state’s plan to launch expanded sites for their care.
The number of patients in ICUs is near an all-time high, approaching 1,200, and health officials say they are older and sicker than early in the pandemic.
The number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Nashville has been steadily dropping, from a high of 222 on July 22 to 119 currently. Intensive care units are still busy but feeling less threatened that they’ll be overwhelmed by the pandemic.
Tennessee hospitals are now caring for more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients, eclipsing a benchmark that health and policy experts have been closely monitoring.
The hospital in Ashland City, northwest of Nashville, has temporarily closed its inpatient center, citing a low volume of patients.
Listen / A hospital in Murfreesboro has launched a special unit meant to relieve overcrowding in the emergency room, which has grown busier as Rutherford County’s population booms. It’s a model that’s a middle ground for patients who need to see a doctor quickly but don’t necessarily need to be admitted to the hospital.