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East Tennessee hospitals sign open letter urging vaccinations amid capacity concerns

Several East Tennessee hospitals signed an open letter to East Tennesseans urging vaccinations amid growing capacity concerns Wednesday.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 1:03 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Several East Tennessee hospitals signed an open letter to East Tennesseans urging vaccinations amid growing capacity concerns on Wednesday. In the letter, officials asked people to practice safe COVID actions and get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

“The past 18 months have been difficult for everyone in many ways, and the surge in COVID-19 infections over the past months has been exceptionally challenging,” the letter said. “We continue to believe that vaccination is the fastest and most effective way out of the pandemic. With this belief, our hospital organizations are joining together to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

According to hospital officials, over 80 percent of patients they admit are unvaccinated. Hospitals are also facing staff shortages, the letter said.

“Not only are we once again facing significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases, we are also facing a shortage of health care workers in the U.S., and Tennessee is no exception. Staffing is lower now than before the pandemic began, and several of our health systems have enlisted the help of the Tennessee National Guard to help alleviate this staffing crisis,” the letter said.

The letter comes as Tennessee hospitalizations reach the highest since the beginning of the pandemic. As of Wednesday, 3,338 people are in the hospital with COVID-19.

The letter can be read in full here:

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Sept 1 2021 Joint Statement by WVLT News on Scribd

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