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Tennessee sets new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations as pandemic grows

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Posted at 2:02 PM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-17 15:12:22-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Tennessee has now set a new record in the COVID-19 pandemic that health authorities had been desperately trying to avoid.

Newly revised data shows that, as of Thursday, there were 1,168 patients in Tennessee hospitals with confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The previous high of 1,161 was set back on July 29th, followed by a steady decline that lasted almost two months.

As of Thursday, there were another 141 patients in Tennessee hospitals with possible cases of the virus, awaiting confirmation.

In addition, the Tennessee Department of Health reported Saturday afternoon that there were 2,646 new confirmed cases statewide, along with 32 new deaths. That update lists 1,166 current hospitalizations.

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Tennessee Department of Health data also reveals that there are 231 intensive care unit beds currently available statewide, a slight improvement from the last few days.

That's 12 percent of the available capacity.

Hospital beds statewide are down to 16 percent of capacity.

During a morning call with reporters Friday, Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said her team is keeping a close eye on the hospital numbers.

"We're not panicked," Piercey added.

"We're watching, just as I said the other day. And I want to reassure you that our hospitals are in a much, much better place now than they were certainly at the beginning and even better positioned than they were in July when we had our peak hospitalization numbers."

Related story: Officials concerned, but 'not panicked' over Tenn.'s growing COVID-19 hospitalizations