‘A lot of people think that this is over and it’s not’: Rising COVID cases causing concern for some Tennesseans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising sharply in neighboring states. On Monday, Mississippi’s Department of Health reported over 2,300 cases from the weekend.

It’s causing some to question if restrictions should return here in Tennessee to brace for the impact the Delta variant could have.

Alabama and Arkansas are also seeing sharp rises in COVID-19 cases over recent days.

An increase in COVID-19 cases in Tennessee is causing concern from some like Martha Kendall.

“I think that a lot of people think that this is over and it’s not,” Kendall said.

Others said while the state is making progress, we’re not at the point to let our guard down.

“We’re making some progress. but I really do believe that social distancing and people continuing to wear their masks will help the situation and getting regular vaccinations,” Roger McClellan said.

Tennessee has caused some controversy by recently firing its top vaccination doctor and ending all outreach to children about any vaccinations.

As of July 19, only 38.5% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated.

“If we don’t get more people vaccinated it’s going to be worse than it was last year because we’re going to have the variants going on,” Kendall said.

But a push to restart health measures that shut down parts of the economy is not welcomed by some.

“I think it’s time to let people live, make their own decisions,” Beth Greeson said. “If they feel the need to wear a mask, wear them, it’s America — if they feel the need to stay home, stay home.”

So far out of the 2.6 million or so Tennesseans that are fully vaccinated, the Tennessee Department of Health is reporting nearly 1,000 ‘breakthrough’ infections – with 24 deaths.

No vaccine is not 100 percent effective, the goal for the vaccines has been to prevent severe illness or hospitalizations. Out of thousands of doses, only 164 people required hospitalization.

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