Tennessee Department of Health chief medical officer Dr. Tim Jones reports positive cases of COVID-19 are on the rise again.
“Unfortunately, after the period of decreasing cases nationally, as well as here in Tennessee, we’re starting to see an uptick again,” Dr. Jones said by phone during Warren County’s weekly COVID-19 press conference Tuesday. “There was a big statewide shutdown of activities and obviously that led to a dramatic decrease in cases.”
“In Warren County there have been about 1,100 cases since this started and eight deaths. In a county of that size, in a county of any size, that’s eight deaths too many,” said Dr. Jones.
“I think some of the increase in COVID-19 is a result of fatigue. We hear wash your hands. Wear a mask. Stay distanced from people,” said Dr. Jones. “I think that as time goes on it’s easy for our attention to drift elsewhere. We start to think it isn’t a big problem anymore and we let our guard down and that is still a very, very dangerous thing to do.”
“We’ve had over 200,000 cases statewide. That’s a big number. We’ve seen over 2,500 deaths. Numbers like that are really scary,” Dr. Jones said. “Sometimes I think people forget that behind every one of those numbers are tragedy. Pain for families and loved ones of those people. We really care about the health of every single person.”
Dr. Jones predicted that numbers will likely increase through the rest of the year.
“I think school being in session will start to have some effect. I worry also about the holiday season. Holidays are times when we’re all very accustomed to getting together with family, traveling, and seeing people we haven’t seen in a very long time and while I think those are very important things, I think we need to be extra careful when we’re doing them,” said Dr. Jones.
Dr. Jones strongly recommended people get the flu shot this season.
“I’m worried about flu season. I think it’s incredibly important for folks to go out and get their flu vaccine for two very important reasons. For one, who wants to get the flu? For another, if we can cut down the amount of flu in the community that leaves us with one disease to focus on and combat and it will be less confusing for individuals since many of the symptoms we’ve seen are the same.”
“Flu vaccines have very few side effects and they’re available everywhere,” Dr. Jones said.