TRI-CITIES (WJHL) — Following Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s address Sunday night limiting indoor public gatherings to 10 people, Ballad Health released the following statement.

PREVIOUSLY: BREAKING: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee to limit public indoor gatherings to 10 people

With coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases reaching deadly highs in the Appalachian Highlands, Ballad Health applauds the governor for communicating the gravity of the situation for Tennessee families and for taking steps that have been shown to help mitigate the spread of what is a deadly and harmful virus.

Among other things, Gov. Lee reiterated his support for masking and for local governments to make decisions about the importance of enforcing the wearing of masks in environments that are at high risk for spread. He also announced he is imposing limitations on gatherings of more than 10 people and limiting attendance at indoor events.

No one, single step can stop this virus, but the combination of social distancing and the creation of barriers for the spread of the virus through the use of masks can, together, make an impact.

For months now, we’ve seen the beneficial effects of masking and physical distancing – as well as the disastrous effects if those recommendations are disregarded. These steps by the Governor add important tools to help slow down the virus and, most importantly, save local lives.

Gov. Lee appealed to the courage of Tennesseans, and we agree. The people of the Appalachian Highlands are lovers of liberty, and they are fiercely committed to principles of individual rights. With those blessings also come responsibilities. Our nurses and doctors roll up their sleeves each day, fighting for the lives of their patients suffering from this disease. And these brave, courageous heroes call on our friends and neighbors to continue to stand by our side as we all take responsibility for the lives and well-being of our neighbors and friends.

Ballad Health

Ballad Health reminded the public that it recorded its highest-yet number of COVID-19 hospital inpatients at 328 on Friday, and on Sunday it saw its highest seven-day count of total deaths, with 114 patients dying due to COVID-19 within the past week.

SEE ALSO: Ballad Health: 114 COVID-19 deaths over the last 7 days, 305 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized