State not going to alternative care sites yet as COVID-19 cases surge

State-Capitol

NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — As COVID-19 numbers spike again, there are lingering questions about Tennessee’s hospital capacity.

Are there enough beds and staff? What about planned alternative sites to care for COVID-19 patients?

In June, Governor Bill Lee highlighted the efforts to make Nashville General Hospital an additional care site.

On Friday, he was asked if the facility might be used with the record number of COVID-19 patients.

“They are not necessary yet, and we do not see a day soon when they are going to be necessary. But, we monitor and track it along.” Lee added, “Hospitals have the capacity to surge. They have been planning on that for some time. There are additional beds other than what are currently being used.”

State Health Department Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said a key part in caring for COVID-19 patients isn’t only beds but also staffing.

A spokesperson for the department said the hospital situation has been helped with a $51-million grant that has been designed to help staffing.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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