Doctors predict Tennessee will hit COVID-19 peak in April

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Data compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Tennessee will see the most cases of COVID-19 in late April.

“Every 4 days the number is doubling. Let that sink in,” explains Dr. James Hildreth, President and CEO at Meharry Medical College.

Data collected predicts, at Tennessee’s peak, 192 people will die in one day alone. While these numbers are projections, Dr. Hildreth believes they’re accurate.

“The models have been pretty spot on in terms of predicting where the virus is going to go and how it’s going to affect the different regions.”

At the current state, Tennessee will be short more than 11,000 hospital beds and 2,200 ICU beds.
These numbers haven’t gone unnoticed. Hospitals are preparing.

“The city should be confident that the 3 hospital systems are doing all that they can do to get ready for this. Vanderbilt has identified entire floors, in one of their hospitals, to devote to this. But the truth is, nothing could really prepare the nation for what we’re about to deal with,” says Hildreth.

Ventilators are also in very high demand across the country. At our peak, it’s projected Tennessee will lack 2,300 ventilators needed to treat patients.

Dr. Hildreth stressed it isn’t too late, we can still flatten the curve.

“We do that by staying at home, social distancing, washing your hands, frequently protecting our T-Zone, all those things really do work. If people would do those things, we can control the virus in our community.”

If people do not heed the warning, it’s possible we will find ourselves in need of field hospitals like in New York City.

“We’ve reached a point in our numbers where, if we’re not careful, we’re going to see the same exponential growth like we’re seeing in other places. And if that’s the case, there’s every possibility we may have to commandeer buildings and venues to set up as field hospitals. I’m hoping that won’t be the case,” says Hildreth, “But you can’t rule it out either.”

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