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Governor Lee addresses upcoming holiday gatherings, WTH prepares for COVID surge

Locally and across the state, reports show record-high numbers of covid-19 cases over the past few weeks.

“Since Thanksgiving, that’s exactly what we expected because people were gathering,” said Amt Garner.

Governor Bill Lee quarantines after his wife tested positive and credits the holiday for the significant increase. Within the past seven days, there are over 65,000 cases in Tennessee.

Governor lee describes Tennessee as ground zero for a surge in covid cases as Christmas is this week. To possibly reduce the spread, he has a request for all Tennesseans.

“I’m asking you not to engage in indoor gatherings over the holidays.”

Lee made that request in a recent briefing addressing his constituents’ concerns. He also signed an executive order declaring a continuous state of emergency.

governor bill lee

“I’m signing an order that will limit indoor gatherings to 10 people.”

According to Garner, the chief compliance officer for West Tennessee Healthcare, the hospitals are prepared for what is coming after the holiday season.

“So we are continuing to do all of the things we’ve been doing like expanding our ICU capacity and overflowing into areas and turning them into covid areas,” said Garner.

Garner also mentioned the purchasing of additional ventilators and reducing the number of outpatient procedures.

“So we just continue to work hard every single day, making sure we are on top of things and planning ahead,” she said.

Even as the vaccines roll out to healthcare workers and first responders, government and health officials warn the next couple of weeks are crucial. It is up to residents to protect themselves and others.

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