NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A group of Tennessee physicians on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic is urging Governor Bill Lee to issue a state-wide mask mandate as many hospitals struggle to deal with the influx of sick patients.
A press call led by Dr. Amy Gordon Bono, Dr. Jessica Rosen, Dr. Katrina Green, and Dr. Matthew Semler spoke out about the challenges they face as COVID-19 cases surge in the area.
Dr. Jessica Rosen, an emergency room physician, describes the current situation as a crisis, “I understand that the pandemic doesn’t always seem real to people who are not on the front lines every day or who haven’t been directly affected by COVID yet. But COVID is real, and we are at a crisis point right now.”
Hospitals are already near capacity, and there’s concern that the spread of COVID-19 during the Thanksgiving holiday will make an already difficult situation worse.
Emergency room physician Dr. Katrina Green worries that the increased amount of patients will make it even more difficult to care for everyone who comes into the ER. “My hospital and pretty much every hospital in Nashville is either full or very close. And that impacts how we operate in the emergency department. And I am personally terrified that my hospital being full could result in someone dying in the waiting room.”
Dr. Matthew Semler, critical care and ICU physician, spoke about how many patients there are in Nashville right now and where they are coming from. “In our intensive care unit, in the last week, we’ve had patients from Arkansas, Kentucky, from Virginia, the western part of Virginia, Alabama. All of those patients are bypassing three or four different hospitals that are closed on the way to our hospital because each of those hospitals is on diversion.”
The numbers keep getting worse, but many medical professionals feel leaders are not taking the appropriate measures.
In the press call, Dr. Amy Gordon Bono said, “It’s the worst it’s ever been by many metrics. But I guess folks, including our Tennessee Governor, just really don’t understand those numerical concerns.”
What they want is simple, a state-wide mask mandate to help stem the tide of COVID-19 cases coming into their facilities.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )