Williamson County health and school officials release statement on COVID-19 – WKRN News 2

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Following a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, Williamson County officials sent out a statement asking community members to continue to take precautions to prevent further spread of the virus.

“The number of active COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations has increased dramatically across the state, in Middle Tennessee and in Williamson County over the last week,” the statement read. “In response to the surge in COVID-19 cases, Williamson Medical Center, Williamson County Health Department, Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District and Williamson, Inc. are jointly calling on the community to take the necessary steps to mitigate virus spread and its subsequent impact on citizens, businesses, schools and healthcare providers.”

Dr. Andy Russell, Chief Medical Officer at Williamson Medical Center and emergency room physician says the county has seen a 30% increase in hospitalizations in a one-week period.

“This is really now the third wave that we are entering into,” Russell explained. “We’ve seen drastic increases in our numbers in the past week to week-and-a-half. And that’s affecting not only the hospitals but school systems.”

While Russell says the county has not seen a jump in cases among children, they are doing everything they can to mitigate the spread among adults.

“Anywhere from 30-40% of those are people are coming in with COVID symptoms. And a lot of them at this point have already been tested and know that they have COVID, but they are getting worse,” said Russell.

County officials are reminding residents to practice social distancing, proper handwashing, and to sanitize frequently touched surfaces. The statement also points out recent CDC research that shows mask-wearing not only protects others, but also protects the person wearing the mask.

“The unabated resurgence of COVID-19 cases not only threatens to overwhelm our health system, it will inevitably further challenge our schools, disrupt area businesses and ultimately impact our local economy. Most importantly, the virus will continue to significantly affect the lives of the high-risk individuals and their families in Williamson and surrounding counties. The associated consequences of the virus spread are widespread and affect every aspect of our community and lives,” the statement continued.

Community members are also asked to consider alternative ways of celebrating the holidays. They say small household gatherings are an important contributor to the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The county is also experiencing a critical need for blood shortage amid a national blood shortage. For more information on how to donate, click here.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.