NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Lee says Tennessee is in the “right spot” as the omicron variant rapidly spreads throughout the United States. The Volunteer State is seeing significant community transmission of COVID-19, driven in part by the delta variant, renewing questions of whether Tennessee is prepared for the new variant.
Nearly a month after ending the State of Emergency for COVID, Tennessee’s governor said he has no regrets. “We’re in a really different place in our state today with regard to COVID-19,” Lee said.
Within the last month, Tennessee has been among the states leading in COVID infections.
“Tennesseans are taking personal responsibility for the decisions, vaccinations are something that we continue to encourage,” the governor said.
Now, cases of omicron are beginning to appear across the state, all while the delta variant is still a cause for concern. This, as the total number of vaccinated Tennesseans hovers around 50%.
Meanwhile, the governor still believes the state is in the right place. “I’m as concerned about omicron as we are about COVID period. Whether it’s the delta, which we still have a significant number of delta cases in our state,” he said. “I think COVID-19 is something that is prevalent across the country and the world.”
Hospitals are reporting steady increases in COVID patients. When asked what he’s doing to shore up testing and hospital capacity, the governor added he’s closely watching, but didn’t give a clear strategy.
“I personally communicate with CEOs of our healthcare systems to check in on where we are and how many beds there are and what is their capacity and but our interactions with the health care systems has been good,” Lee said.