NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Doctors are projecting COVID-19 will get worse in the months ahead if people don't take the virus seriously. They say we could see more cases and even more deaths this winter.
As we near the ninth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors say the numbers are alarming. And with winter on the horizon, Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctors say we need to prepare.
As of Monday, 43 states reported at least 10% more new COVID-19 cases compared to last week, according to Johns Hopkins University.
"Cases are rising. Hospitalizations are rising, that's followed by deaths rising; so we're really seeing some trends that are not making us feel very optimistic," said Dr. Loren Lipworth, epidemiologist VUMC.
Doctors say with more businesses opening up, and cooler weather prompting more people to socialize indoors, the holidays and the lax on mask mandates, we could see more coronavirus cases, more hospitalizations and even more deaths in the next three months.
"It’s in indoor facilities where now the windows might not be open, and so that I think it’s really important that there's more crowding that's likely to occur, certainly doesn't help with other viruses circulating, causing people to cough, sniffle. That can lead to a lot of confusion, which is one reason why we really want people to get their flu shots this year," said Dr. David Aronoff Director of Division of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt.
Doctors are hopeful, and they say if we continue to follow health guidelines like wearing face coverings they believe we can turn this virus around.