SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The head doctor at Sumner Regional Medical Center said the delta variant of COVID-19 “has burned through us with a ferocity that’s hard to describe,” adding “there are no beds.”
In a public letter posted to his Facebook and shared by the hospital, Chief Medical Officer Geoff Lifferth expressed his frustrations, calling the last week, “one of the most exhausting and disheartening of my career.”
“In Middle Tennessee right now it is impossible to find an empty, staffed ICU, ER, or med/surg bed,” he wrote.
Lifferth noted, “6 weeks ago there were 200 Covid patients in hospitals in Tennessee. Today there are 2000. A 1000% increase. In 6 weeks. It has overwhelmed tired doctors, nurses and healthcare systems that were already stretched thin.”
“The vaccines? They’re good. No, they’re not perfect. And yes, we are seeing more breakthrough infections with the Delta variant. But there’s a reason 96% of physicians got it – the risk/benefit analysis overwhelmingly favors the vaccines. Get one,” the head doctor explained.
He went on to write, “There’s been a lot of talk about personal freedoms, and mandates, and government overreach, and such. And, someday when the sun is shining again, we can sit down and have some interesting conversations about all that. I might even agree with you on some of those points. But I can’t do that today. Not today. Because there are no beds.”
The Tennessee Department of Health reports there are 10% of hospital floor beds and 7% of ICU beds available in the state, as of Friday morning.
A Sumner County parent also started a petition on Change.org, urging the school district to follow CDC guidelines and require masks.