MEMPHIS, Tenn.— The Delta variant is showing no mercy or signs of stopping as it infects more people across Tennessee. Hospitalizations are at an all-time high, and people are now dying of COVID-19 at a rate of about 40 per day in the Volunteer State.
WREG spoke to Dr. Stephen Threlkeld of Baptist Hospital in Memphis. He’s worried by the number of very sick patients who were otherwise strong and healthy.
Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis alone has 42 COVID patients in intensive care. 33 are on ventilators.
However, the people getting sick from COVID are younger, and they’re staying in the hospital longer as Dr. Stephen Threlkeld explained.
“The death curve on COVID-19 in the Delta era here has been a bit protracted because in the earlier versions elderly people would get the disease and they would come in hospital and unfortunately would succumb to that infection quite quickly.” Dr. Threlkeld said.
“So, the deaths followed quicker after the infection than what we are seeing now. I’ve got an ICU full of 30s- and 40-year-old people who remain on ECMO or artificial lung technology or the ventilators or all these things and so they will be on the ICU for sometimes months,” Dr. Threlkeld said.
The total number of people to die of COVID in Shelby county is now more than 1900. 87 of those deaths occurred in just the past 2 weeks.