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Health Commissioner Piercey: Surging COVID-19 admissions have Tenn. hospitals in 'dire straits'

210903 tenn hosp patient count chart.jpg
Tenn. Dept. Health
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne) -- The number of Tennesseans hospitalized by COVID-19 continued to climb this week.

As of Friday morning there were 3,538 virus related patients being treated in hospitals statewide. That’s a new state record.

Some 970 were in intensive care units, including 21 Tennessee children.

A staggering 702 Tennesseans were on respirators Friday, including 10 children.

There are currently just 116 open ICU beds statewide.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey told reporters on Thursday that Tennessee hospitals were in “dire straits.”

Dr. Piercey noted that the Tennessee National Guard has been called up to help out in 16 hospitals statewide.