NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Hospitals like Vanderbilt University Medical Center and TriStar are reporting yet another spike in COVID-19 cases.
“It’s always hard to watch that happen,” said Dr. Seth Karp, surgeon-in-chief at Vanderbilt, “It’s more difficult to watch that happen when you know that this is preventable.”
Vanderbilt has seen COVID-19 cases multiply by eight over in the last month. In July, the hospital only had about ten cases. Dr. Karp says this latest spike is eerily similar to what the hospital saw back in March of 2020.
“When these things rise, they rise very quickly. And so, an 8-fold increase…that’s 80 patients, if it rises another eight times that’s 640, and that will overwhelm us,” said Dr. Karp. “That’s the trajectory we’re on right now.”
VUMC has instituted a universal indoor mask mandate on their campus, despite individual vaccination status. The hospital has also postponed some of its elective surgeries.
“We put a review process in place where we looked at the surgeries that could be safely cancelled,” Dr. Karp explained. “So, we are not canceling all surgeries. We’re not canceling most surgeries. Right now, we’re only surgeries that we feel can be safely postponed for two weeks.”
TriStar Summit Medical Center has also instituted a universal mask mandate and is only allowing one visitor per patient. Previously, patients were allowed two visitors.
In a statement to News 2, the hospital’s COO said:
“Our hospital has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases similar to what other hospitals are seeing. We strongly encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and ask that those in Nashville remain vigilant about wearing masks, social distancing and proper hand hygiene to help prevent the spread of the virus.”Drew Tyrer, FACHE, COO, TriStar Summit Medical Center
Williamson Medical Center told News 2 they have increased visitation restrictions amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Bradley Bullock released the following statement to News 2:
We have postponed and rescheduled some elective surgical procedures to allow staff to work where they are most needed. We will continue to evaluate each elective overnight surgery on a case-by-case basis. We will continue to perform as many surgical procedures as possible and plan to return to a full schedule as soon as circumstances allow. Patients should assume their surgery has not been postponed unless they have been contacted by their physician.