NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Data compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Tennessee will see the most cases of COVID-19 in late April.
“Every 4 days the number is doubling. Let that sink in,” explains Dr. James Hildreth, President and CEO at Meharry Medical College.
Data collected predicts, at Tennessee’s peak, 192 people will die in one day alone. While these numbers are projections, Dr. Hildreth believes they’re accurate.
“The models have been pretty spot on in terms of predicting where the virus is going to go and how it’s going to affect the different regions.”
At the current state, Tennessee will be short more than 11,000 hospital beds and 2,200 ICU beds.
These numbers haven’t gone unnoticed. Hospitals are preparing.
“The city should be confident that the 3 hospital systems are doing all that they can do to get ready for this. Vanderbilt has identified entire floors, in one of their hospitals, to devote to this. But the truth is, nothing could really prepare the nation for what we’re about to deal with,” says Hildreth.
Ventilators are also in very high demand across the country. At our peak, it’s projected Tennessee will lack 2,300 ventilators needed to treat patients.
Dr. Hildreth stressed it isn’t too late, we can still flatten the curve.
“We do that by staying at home, social distancing, washing your hands, frequently protecting our T-Zone, all those things really do work. If people would do those things, we can control the virus in our community.”
If people do not heed the warning, it’s possible we will find ourselves in need of field hospitals like in New York City.
“We’ve reached a point in our numbers where, if we’re not careful, we’re going to see the same exponential growth like we’re seeing in other places. And if that’s the case, there’s every possibility we may have to commandeer buildings and venues to set up as field hospitals. I’m hoping that won’t be the case,” says Hildreth, “But you can’t rule it out either.”
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )
Coronavirus-related deaths in Tennessee
|County||# of Deaths|
|Out of state||3|
|Total Deaths (as of 4/29/20)||195|
Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.
High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.
The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.