Update: As of Monday, July 20th, hospital and ICU bed capacity numbers have risen above 20%.
As COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in Davidson County, fewer hospital beds are available -- putting a major strain on our hospitals.
Metro does have an alternative surge site set up over at Nashville General Hospital in case hospitals like Vanderbilt University Medical Center get too crowded. Health leaders are hoping we don’t get to the point where it needs to be used, so they're putting an emphasis on flattening the curve.
However, the problem doesn’t stop there. Just last week, Metro's Coronavirus Task Force Chair, Dr. Alex Jahangir, said that even if we make more beds available, not having enough medical staff can be an issue.
In Nashville, only 18% of hospital beds and 17% of ICU beds are available. Both of these metrics are below where the city needs them to be, and they’re in yellow now, which means Davidson County isn’t able to move forward in its reopening phases.
After seeing these numbers, Dr. James Hildreth, who has been one of the doctors leading the charge against the coronavirus, tweeted:
"We know a certain [percentage] of cases will require hospital care so Nashville it's time to focus on 'flattening the curve' again. Early success in controlling COVID19 may be reversed if we aren't vigilant about mitigation going forward. We can't let up - the virus certainly will not."
We know a certain % of cases will require hospital care so Nashville it's time to focus on "flattening the curve" again. Early success in controlling COVID19 may be reversed if we aren't vigilant about mitigation going forward. We can't let up - the virus certainly will not. https://t.co/R8qLDic2op— James E.K. Hildreth (@JamesEKHildreth) July 19, 2020
Health leaders, not only at the local and state level also but nationally, want to emphasize wearing a mask, staying home and practicing social distancing so our healthcare workers don’t get overwhelmed.