As COVID-19 continues to spread in south central Tennessee, Maury Regional Health said it was on a clear trajectory to surpass its highest number of hospital patients with the virus.
Maury Regional was treating 100 hospitalized patients with COVID-19 on Friday with a total of 32 treated in the intensive care unit.
Due to the continued increase in new infections, Maury Regional has been forced to expand its intensive care unit from 26 beds to 38 beds.
As Maury Regional made the announcement Thursday afternoon, Tennessee led the United States in new cases of coronavirus.
The medical center reached its highest number of inpatients, 102, on December 28, 2020, just over two weeks after the United States Food & Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the vaccine. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19.
A day earlier, the hospital had 93 COVID-19 hospital patients, of whom 28, or 30%, were being treated in intensive care, according to Maury Regional and Chief Medical Officer Martin Chaney.
Hospital expands intensive care unit
Management of the medical center expects it will need to expand further if more COVID patients require hospitalization and intensive care care.
“We are seeing an influx of critically ill COVID patients, the majority of whom are unvaccinated,” Chaney said in a press release. “We also continue to see an increase in the number of patients in our emergency care facilities and emergency rooms. When you look at local, regional and state trends, we can only expect these numbers to increase in the coming days. “
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Dr Brett Norman, who specializes in pulmonary medicine and intensive care at Maury Regional, previously told the Daily Herald that the growing number of infections will lead to a higher number of local hospitalizations.
The Tennessee Department of Health reports that 3,501 people were hospitalized with COVID on September 1, with 968 of those patients being accepted to an intensive care unit.
Six weeks earlier, 580 people had been hospitalized in Tennessee.
The change represents an increase of over 500%.
The current seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases statewide is 7,739.
In Maury County, there were currently 1,116 active cases of COVID-19, as of August 4.
An average of 96.9 new cases of the virus have been identified each day over the past two weeks, according to data from the Tennessee Department of Health. In the previous two weeks, there were an average of 57.4 new cases of the virus identified each day.
“Tennessee healthcare systems are under pressure from increasing hospitalizations,” said Alan Watson, CEO of Maury Regional.
“We have nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and others who work long hours and extra shifts to care for our patients. I am immensely proud of our care teams at Maury Regional Health, but it takes its toll on them both physically and emotionally.
“They hold the hands of frightened patients about to be placed on ventilators and console families when they lose a loved one. They are heroes, but they need our community’s help. Please get vaccinated. and, as the CDC recommended, wear a mask in indoor public spaces regardless of your immunization status.
A total of 189 people in Maury County have died from the virus since March 2020.
The Centers for Disease Control reports that the delta variant is currently the dominant strain in the United States and is two to three times more contagious than the original COVID-19 virus.
Younger patients hospitalized
As local infections continue to increase statewide and in south central Tennessee, Maury Regional continues to encourage the public to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.
“As a community, we cannot continue to ignore this virus,” said Chaney.
“It no longer attacks only the elderly and frail; we are seeing younger, healthier patients hospitalized. Until we can slow the transmission of this virus through vaccination, masking and social distancing, we will continue to see it mutate, which could result in a vaccine that was initially 99% effective in reducing hospitalizations is much less effective on the new variants. “
Maury Regional Health reported that it has administered more than 30,000 vaccines to date and continues to provide vaccination opportunities to the public through its mobile unit and vaccination clinic.
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Thursday walk-in vaccination clinic
Those looking to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can do so for free through the Maury Regional Medical Center or the Maury County Health Department.
The Health Department, located at 1909 Hampshire Pike, offers drive-thru vaccinations on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The health department also continues to offer COVID-19 driving tests by appointment from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Maury Regional will be hosting a walk-in vaccination clinic on Thursday, September 9 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm at the Maury Regional Medical Plaza located at 854 W. James Campbell Boulevard.
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Contact Mike Christen at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @MikeChristenCDH and on Instagram @michaelmarco. Please consider supporting his work and that of other Daily Herald journalists by subscribing to the publication.