HENDERSONVILLE, TN (WSMV) — Sumner County is sounding the alarm about climbing COVID-19 cases.
Tuesday, they reported having 46 new positive cases, saying it’s the largest single day increase in the county since the Gallatin Center for Rehab and Healing tested positive cases back in March.
EMS Chief Greg Miller says the problem now isn’t nursing homes. “Those hotspots don’t exist right now. It is widespread,” he said.
So much of a widespread problem, Miller says EMS has been put on diversion by Sumner Regional Medical Center three times this week, meaning they couldn’t accept the COVID-19 patients. “They were full. Our call volume is significantly higher in EMS and there’s no rhyme or reason.”
TriStar Hospital Hendersonville is also seeing an uptick in COVID patients over the last two weeks. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Chris Wells said, “A large number of these are younger people we’re seeing diagnosed in the emergency room with testing but are stable enough to be discharged to home.”
Dr. Wells also says older age patients with other medical conditions are becoming very ill. The reason? “A lot of that is people letting their guard down, not wearing masks, not practicing social distancing.”
Sumner County officials believe it will continue to be difficult to control the spread of the virus with the upcoming 4th of July holiday, graduation ceremonies, family reunions, and church revivals.
Miller said, “This is serious and the hospitals are showing us that they’re have a lot more serious patients this round, a lot more people are requiring a ventilator this time. So more than likely we’ll see an increase in deaths again.”
Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt also has concerns about the spread. He wants everyone to take personal responsibility when thinking about how they celebrate 4th of July. “I’m responsible also, I’ve become complacent, but the new reality is the infection rate is going up," he said. "And I’m very concerned as we go into this holiday, and I say my favorite weekend and holiday, that we use precautions.”
The county can’t mandate people wear masks but Holt says, “I am pleading because I do not have the authority to require people to wear a mask, but I am pleading if you go out, and I hope you do that you keep your distance and if you are in a crowd and if you can’t, make sure you wear a mask.”