NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -  A group of doctors from Nashville is amplifying calls for a statewide mask mandate in Tennessee.

The group says COVID-19 metrics are higher than they've ever been and called on Governor Bill Lee to implement a statewide mandate.

The doctors even invited Governor Lee to join them inside a COVID-19 unit to see what it's like.

"As a front line physician, I implore you to listen to the health experts and make the tough decisions," said Dr. Katrina Green, Nashville emergency physician. "I understand that making masks mandatory is a tough and likely unpopular decision, but it's the right decision and one that will save lives."

In Nashville, 336 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number since the pandemic.

13 percent of floor beds and 12 percent of ICU beds are available right now.

The target for both metrics is 20 percent.

"You will see this if you visit the hospitals and see firsthand how your current strategy is not working."

An executive order from Governor Lee currently gives individual counties to implement their own mask mandates as they see fit.

The governor's office noted in a statement that 25 counties in Tennessee, representing about 66 percent of the state's population, already have local mask mandates in place.


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