Please consider sharing with your employees the joint statement below, issued today by Vanderbilt Health, Ascension St. Thomas, Tristar Health and Meharry Medical College:
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Tennessee is rising. In the 13 counties that make up the Nashville Metropolitan Area, new cases have increased 50% over the last 2 weeks. We strongly urge everyone in Middle Tennessee, and all Tennesseans, to remain vigilant in their efforts to limit the spread of the virus by wearing masks, washing hands and staying socially distant—including not participating in large gatherings.
Over the same two-week period, hospitals in the Nashville area have experienced a 40% increase in patients admitted for COVID-19. Unless we act now to curb the transmission rates in Middle Tennessee, we expect this trend to continue. A major surge of new COVID-19 cases could threaten our ability to serve patients with many diagnoses requiring hospitalization.
As fall brings cooler temperatures and more indoor activities, the risk of transmitting the virus increases. The timing of this new wave of COVID-19 cases in our area coincides with the annual flu season, which adds yet more strain on our hospitals and more pressure to local businesses. We must do everything we can to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed and safeguard the reopening of our economy.
The best way to slow the spread of coronavirus is to wear a face mask, wash your hands and social distance, which includes not gathering in large groups. We also encourage everyone over 6 months old to get a flu vaccine this year to protect your health and the health of those around you.
Together, we can slow the spread of COVID-19 and the flu and protect our hospitals and our local economy.