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Williamson County had 17 new cases of COVID-19 on the state's report Tuesday. 

10,681 is the overall number for the pandemic in the county since March, with 1,310 of those cases active. 

9,295 people in the county have either recovered or had their cases deemed inactive, while 76 people have now died. 

107,027 negative tests have been conducted thus far. 

Hospital leaders express 'deep concern' in open letter

The leaders of every health system in Middle Tennessee published an open letter on Tuesday expressing “deep concern” about the trajectory of the COVID-19 outbreak and asking Tennessee residents to act now to slow the spread of the virus. 

There are more than 700 patients in Middle Tennessee hospital with COVID, according to the letter, an increase of 72 percent since the start of the month. Those increases are forecasted to continue, especially going into the Thanksgiving holiday.  

“If this trend continues, our hospital systems could soon be overwhelmed, and that would compromise the ability to serve all patients, not just those with COVID-19.” the letter said.

The hospital leaders wrote that “now is the time to take heed” by keeping social distant, wearing masks and hosting the holidays virtually this year. If you are gathering with people who live outside of your household, they recommend limiting the meal to eight. 

The letter was signed by Ascension Saint Thomas President and CEO Tim Adams, NorthCrest Health President and CEO Randy David, Meharry Medical College President and CEO James Hildreth, HighPoint Health System President Susan Peach, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer Wright Pinson, TriStar Health Division President Heather Rohan, Maury Regional Health CEO H. Alan Watson, Williamson Medical Center CEO Don Webb and Nashville General Hospital CEO Joseph Webb.

Survey says 85% of seniors plan to get vaccine, although some hesitant 

In a survey conducted by Nashville-based Tivity Health on 4,000 senior citizens across 49 states, nearly 85 percent said they plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Among the respondents who plan on getting vaccinated, only half said they plan to get the vaccine as soon as doses become available, and one-third said they are hesitant and would prefer to wait at least three months.

Among places to get vaccinated, respondents indicated they trusted their primary care provider to administer the shots the most. Only 23 percent were comfortable with receiving a vaccine in a hospital. 

Among the entire survey population, 81 percent of all respondents said they had already received a flu vaccine, with 38 percent receiving it through a pharmacy or drug store. 

"The good news is that many seniors are already predisposed to take the vaccine, but concerns linger about cost and prioritization. A coordinated awareness and education effort led by public health organizations and supported by healthcare stakeholders in the private sector could increase both the rate of acceptance and speed of adoption," said Richard Ashworth, president and CEO of Tivity Health. "In addition, we can learn from best practices with how other vaccines have been managed, including the flu and pneumonia vaccine."

Vaccine distribution facility in Lebanon adds 260 jobs

A new production facility in Lebanon that will support vaccine distribution has added 262 jobs to the area — half of which were already filled by the beginning of the month. 

Franklin, Massachusetts-based Cold Chain Technologies opened the 255,000-square-foot facility specifically to support COVID-19 vaccine distribution. It will come equipped with temperature-sensitive supply chain requirements, according to a press release, including Koolit refrigerant manufacturing and work cells for CCT's KoolTemp EcoFlex.

Tennessee Plant Manager Jim Griffith said the facility began full production on Nov. 1. 

“Staffing — the people part of this endeavor — has been our biggest concern,” Griffith said in a blog post on the company website. “But everything — from securing the new building to installing the required utilities and machinery to hiring the workforce — have all come together in a two-month timeframe.”

The company has another facility located in La Vergne. 

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