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Nashville health leaders say getting vaxxed is only way out of pandemic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Tennessee is among the worst in the nation for new coronavirus cases per capita. This comes as more than 7,000 new cases and 87 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.

The state ranksNo. 7 in the country for most new COVID-19 cases and No. 10 for hospital admissions.

Dr. David Aronoff of Vanderbilt University Medical Center says we need to see a lot of improvement.

“The whole Southeast region is not doing particularly well with COVID-19 and Tennessee has been a state that has been incredibly active with COVID-19 and our hospitals remain really quite full,” Dr. Aranoff said.

There are more than 3,500 people with COVID-19 in Tennessee hospitals right now.

Brian Todd with Metro Health says the way out of this is through the vaccine.

“We won’t quit. I mean the worst thing you can do is say ‘Well, we’re never going to get there' so we might as well stop all efforts,” Todd said.

In a FOX 17 Twitter poll, 83% of voters don't believe the state's alarming numbers will encourage those not vaccinated to get the shot.

Brian Todd says Davidson County is nearing 54% fully vaccinated -- but the work continues.

So, we asked whether Metro will hand down new safety mandates if numbers don't improve.

“I guess anything could be possible, but what was leading us to make those difficult decisions a year ago was we didn’t have a vaccine,” Todd said.

FOX 17 News also reached out to Governor Lee's office.

In a statement, it points to calling up members of the Tennessee National Guard to help staff overburdened hospitals.

No new orders are planned at this time.

“People are doing their part, they’re wearing masks, they’re staying socially distant and they are getting vaccinated. We just need more of that,” Dr. Aranoff said.

A lot more as the percentage of Tennesseans who've been vaccinated remains at just over 43%.

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