Tennessee hospitals may have seen the worst of the delta surge. Even the largest hospitals in the eastern part of the state are experiencing a week-long decline in COVID patients.
COVID cases are on a pretty steady downward trend in Tennessee after a sharp rise since the Fourth of July. But pediatric cases remain elevated, causing concern for families around the state.
The hospital on post at Fort Campbell has been full of COVID patients, and most are unvaccinated. That’s despite a mandate for all soldiers.
“We’re managing them, but it is putting a strain on the system, trying to hold these patients in these hospitals until we can get them moved,” says Ruby Kirby, the CEO of the critical access hospital in Bolivar.
Community organizers in Middle Tennessee who normally focus on preventing violence are shifting their attention, at least partially, to promoting vaccines. Uptake on COVID shots still lags among many groups who’ve historically been underserved by the health care system.
As the World Trade Center towers fell 20 years ago, smaller, more personal, crises played out all over the country. At children’s hospitals in Nashville and Houston, an out-of-state organ donation was put in doubt when the entire country’s airspace was closed to traffic.
Another day, another record for COVID hospitalizations, with more than 3,700 across Tennessee. Hospitals are far more stretched than during the winter surge because of how many people need critical care.
Metro has opened a second drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination center near Centennial Park. The center opened after complaints from the public of hours-long waits at the location in South Nashville.
Tennessee hospitals are setting new records each day, caring for more COVID patients than ever. And the most critical are almost all unvaccinated, meaning ICUs are filled with regretful patients hoping for a second chance.
Tennessee has reopened a fund to help hospitals fly in temporary nurses as they’re short on staff. But hospitals are finding that there’s not much money left, even though the shortage is more critical than when they needed staffing help during the winter surge.