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Tennessee has fewer than 400 ICU beds, hospital officials say

As hospitalizations from COVID-19 rise in Tennessee, hospital officials say the ICU bed capacity in the state has lowered.
(KY3)
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 5:11 PM EDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - As hospitalizations from COVID-19 rise in Tennessee, hospital officials say the ICU bed capacity in the state has lowered.

“We literally had 480 beds right before the Fourth of July and now we’re down to 393 ICU beds,” Dr. Aaron Milstone, a leading pulmonologist at Williamson Medical Center, told Nashville CBS affiliate WTVF.

Milestone added that, “You have to remember the population of the state of Tennessee approaches 7 million people, so now that our state is averaging 40-50 new COVD-19 patients hospitalized a day, these numbers are going to continue to whittle away at our capacity.”

He said the increased hospitalization could have a ripple effect. “If you’ve had a heart attack or stroke or if you’re a young person in a car accident, you may not be able to go to a hospital you want to go to,” he said.

“Shutting down the economy again isn’t a viable option”, he said.

The doctor added that Tennesseans should wear masks. He said the state should make it mandatory. “When we don’t have leadership from the top, we end up with a patchwork quilt of efforts,” said Dr. Milstone.

He added he wants the state to actually enforce the Tennessee pledge, ”Then you have to have a way to report that to the state. So if your employer is endangering the public or their workers, we have to have a way to hold them accountable,” he said.

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