Our area continues to see a large number of positive COVID-19 cases causing many organizations to react to this reality. Ballad Health had warned if the cases continued on the path they were on, they would have to cease some procedures to use those resources to help ease the burden caused by COVID-19 hospitalizations. Since the number of positive cases has continued, Ballad released a statement on Friday that they will defer all elective, non-emergent surgical cases requiring overnight patient stays as of today, August the 16th.
Ballad went on to state they have seen am 800% rise infections since July 4th. With the number of inpatients that are already putting a significant strain on resources, they are projecting inpatient numbers reaching as high as 500 due to the current growth rate and few meaningful mitigation efforts. Ballad also reported that Vanderbilt Health in Nashville, a facility Ballad partners with to lean on when they are near capacity, has already reached full capacity themselves.
Also, in a social media post by Lee County School Board Representative Rob Hines posted on Saturday, the Lee County School Board has authorized Superintendent Brian Dean to establish guidelines for a limited remote learning program. This program will be more robust than the one used last year and will be more closely monitored. He went on to add there would be GPA requirements and will not infringe on in-person learning or require teachers to teach two separate classes. In doing this, the board hopes it will curtail the sudden increase in home schooling and these individuals will re-enroll in Lee County Public Schools to utilize the remote option.
That COVID-19 sophomore slump we were worried about is hitting fast.