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Tennessee reaches another all time high for COVID-19 hospitalizations

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Tennessee has reached another an all-time high for COVID-19 hospitalizations, surpassing its record set earlier this week.

As of Thursday morning, there are currently 1,394 hospitalizations of people with confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. This includes 415 ICU cases and 166 ventilator cases.

There are another 135 people in the hospital with possible cases. The state reports a 12% availability of ICU beds are a 16% availability of floor beds.

This comes as Gov. Bill Lee plans to extend another State of Emergency due to Tennessee's surge in coronavirus cases.This will again extend local authority for county mayors to issue mask mandates.

Vanderbilt researchers said in a report earlier this week that Tennessee areas without mask mandates have larger increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Many areas across the Volunteer State have recently seen a resurgence in the number of reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Just last week, Tennessee broke records for daily increases in reported cases and deaths in a day. Hospitalizations also reached a previous high of 1,300.

“We’ve seen a statewide increase in hospitalizations since early October, indicating that masking alone is not sufficient to curb further spread of the virus,” according to John Graves, Ph.D., director of the Center and associate professor of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “But it’s very clear that areas where masking requirements have remained in place have seen much lower growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations."

Last week, health officials said they're "watching" but not "panicked" about the rapid rise in coronavirus hospitalizations.

"What's not moderate is the rapid rise in hospitalizations," Dr. Lisa Piercey said last week.

In Tennessee, the average age of someone hospitalized for COVID-19 is currently 70 with a nine-day average length of stay.

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