'Please get vaccinated.' Sumner County Mayor makes a plea as hospital capacity dwindles

Sumner Regional Medical
Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-13 19:13:58-04

GALLATIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Several hospitals in our area are seeing staffed bed shortages due to an influx in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Thursday evening, the Medical Director of Sumner Regional Medical Center wrote on his Facebook page, "No beds, there are no beds," as a part of a lengthy post about the capacity issues the hospital was experiencing.

Friday afternoon, the region's top trauma center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, reached that horrifying milestone. Both say, most of their beds are occupied by the immuno-compromised and the unvaccinated.

"I’d like to be more sensitive and say it in a kindler, gentler way but I don’t know that we can do that. We need to emphasize the seriousness of where we are today," said Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt, in a phone interview with NewsChannel 5.

Holt wants to remind his residents, there is a solution: you can get vaccinated. "People are exhausted, they’re tired of masking and using precaution, I get it. But the deal is, we need to get vaccinated. We need every person vaccinated we can," he said. "When you don’t have the vaccine, you’re playing with fire right now because COVID is not going away with this new and latest strain of COVID is very contagious."

Holt is worried if something doesn't change, healthcare staff will be at their wit's end. "It’s a tough job and it’s getting tougher," said Mayor Holt. "They’re exhausted. But they’re still showing up every day and putting their health and their families' health at risk to save others."

Holt is also worried, ambulance rides will get longer, or eventually, won't have a place to go as other hospitals fill up. "Please get vaccinated," Holt added.

Holt says he's staying in close communication with the area's other big hospital -- Tristar Hendersonville. Holt says the CEO there says they're having capacity issues as well.