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Hospital inundated with COVID-19

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Vanderbilt-Bedford Hospital officials said Friday they’re at an all-time high with COVID-19 cases. 

“We are currently caring for more than 20 COVID patients in our hospital,” said Vanderbilt-Bedford Hospital President Bill Rich.

“This is an all-time high for our facility while the other hospitals in the Vanderbilt Health system continue to care for record numbers of patients hospitalized for COVID. Several of these individuals in our hospital are very ill, requiring ICU-level support.”  

As of Friday, Tennessee Health Department recorded that there were 411 active COVID-19 cases—33 of which were newly reported.  

That is actually a decline from Aug. 27 through the first week of September when THD reported a 500 case count. Over the last week, according to THD, Bedford County has averaged 138.3 tests per day (278.2 tests per 100,000 residents.)  

Over the last week, the average positive COVID-19 percentage was 21.9%. Rich said with the hospital is currently at capacity, requiring staff to take the following steps to ensure the continued safe care of patients:  

  • Effective Friday, all elective surgeries are postponed through Sept. 25.
  • Surgical teams are being redeployed to other patient care areas within the hospital such as the emergency department to help address increased volumes of people seeking care.
  • Vanderbilt-Bedford will be canceling one day of clinic operations so that staff can be redeployed elsewhere to help care for hospitalized patients.  

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s experts predict that there will be a continued increase in COVID infections across middle Tennessee for several more weeks before things may begin to subside. 

“Our goal remains to ensure the safety of our patients, hospital staff and medical staff while providing safe and efficient quality care,” said Rich.  

Rich said this is a fluid plan, and the hospital will continue to update as it monitors trends or any future changes. The CEO asks that those visiting Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital emergency department bring their patience and expect longer wait times.  

Officials said they’re experiencing an increased volume of patients in the emergency department who are seeking COVID tests.  

Rich reminded there are also other patients who need the “usual great care” provided by Vanderbilt physicians, nurses, and staff.  

He said citizens can help their community and local hospital by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.  

“Vaccines are widely available.”  

To make an appointment to get a vaccine, go to www. vaccines.gov or call 866- 442-5301. 

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