Tennessee on track to hit 1,000 concurrent COVID-19 hospitalizations by late summer

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Across the state, nearly 400 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital last week.​ That’s a 30% increase from earlier in June, according to a report published by the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. ​

​Dr. Melissa McPheeters, a professor in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt who contributed to the study, explained these projections are meant to inform the health care system so it can prepare for what’s to come.​

“If we stay on the track we’re on right now, with our transmission numbers about where it is, and our current understanding of how severe the disease is,” said McPheeters, “We’re looking at hitting 1,000 hospitalizations concurrently later in the summer, mid-July to early August.”

The state has seen the largest hospitalization increases in Memphis and Chattanooga. ​
But, that doesn’t mean our area is in the clear. ​

“Cases are continuing to increase in Middle Tennessee. We need to keep an eye on that carefully. We want to remember that hospitalization lag cases by up to a couple of weeks,” explained McPheeters.

One thing, McPheeters said, helps Nashville’s hospitalization numbers is the majority of the people contracting COVID-19 are young and health. ​

“Those are folks that often interact with parents and grandparents who may be old and have underlying health conditions like diabetes or heart condition that would put them in a very significant risk of a poor outcome,” warned McPheeters.

And, the effects of their interactions aren’t felt immediately. ​”What I always tell people is that infections have a momentum. It’s kinda like turning a ship, so we have already determined what’s going to happen two weeks from now, today.” ​

Which is why, doctors said, it’s so important not to let up.​

“When we ask people to wear face coverings, to be careful about social distancing,” said McPheeters, “it’s not just for their own health, it’s to protect the health of their families and their communities.”

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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