Tenn. Health Commissioner: COVID-19 hospitalization rate up ‘over 50 percent’ since October 1


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL)- An update on the state of COVID-19 in Tennessee was held virtually again Tuesday as Governor Lee and his wife continue to quarantine after a member of his Executive Security Detail tested positive for coronavirus last week.

Governor Lee mentioned early on during the briefing that both he and his wife tested negative for COVID-19 on Monday.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Tennessee’s Health Commissioner noted that hospitalizations due to coronavirus are up 50 percent since the beginning of the month.

During the virtual briefing Tuesday, Dr. Lisa Piercey said in part, “The thing that has really caught our attention is the dramatic rise in hospitalizations. Those hospitalization numbers are now up over 50 percent since October 1st.”

Dr. Piercey also noted that as of now most of the COVID-19 cases are coming from rural areas.

“As a general principle, our rural populations have more concentrations of older and sicker individuals who are more likely to need hospitalization if they become ill,” Dr. Piercey said.

Mask Mandates

Governor Lee said he had a call with county mayors across the Volunteer State to discuss implementing mask mandates through the end of 2020.

“I intend to extend their ability, their authority to put in place mask requirements through the end of the year in their individual counties. Mayors have been excellent partners and I am encouraging them to use the tools that are in their toolbox to make sure that their response is appropriate to what’s happening in their community and their folks are safe,” Governor Lee said.

‘Choices’ PSA

Governor Lee also mentioned the new PSA that was just released by his office on Tuesday titled “Choices.”

The video will air across the state on broadcast, cable, and digital media, according to the governor’s office.

“Our Choices PSA reminds Tennesseans that we all have choices to make that either help or hurt our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus,” Governor Lee said during Tuesday’s briefing.

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