Williamson Medical Center, Williamson County Health Department, Williamson County Schools, Franklin Special School District and Williamson, Inc. released a joint statement calling for the greater community to take steps to help lessen the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as cases rise across the state.

The joint statement asks that residents and businesses adhere to the county mask mandate that is in effect through Dec. 29, and to practice all CDC-recommended steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including social distancing, washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer when necessary and the cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

"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," the statement reads.

"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."

As of Thursday the State of Tennessee reported that 296,725 confirmed cases, 3,788 deaths, 10,950 hospitalizations and 262,527 patients who have recovered.

On the county level, the state is reporting 8,892 total cases, which include 64 deaths, 150 hospitalizations and 7,665 recovered patients, with 115 new cases reported on Thursday compared to Wednesday.

This comes as the U.S. has seen a 40% rise in active cases compared to last week and new daily cases both in Tennessee and nationwide have reached all-time highs. To date more than 242,000 people have died of COVID-19 nationwide.

"Although opinions and personal experiences related to the virus vary, we must do what we can to protect our community through personal responsibility and measures to reduce virus spread," the statement reads.

The statement also encourages individuals and families to consider alternative ways to celebrate the holidays as small gatherings have contributed to the rise of cases. 

The rise of the virus has also caused a critical need for blood donations and multiple blood drives are scheduled to happen throughout the county in the upcoming weeks.  

According to the news release, Blood Assurance will also be on site at the Bone and Joint Institute of Tennessee's parking lot every Tuesday in November from 12 p.m.–5 p.m.

Appointments to give must be scheduled online here or by phone by calling 800-962-0628, or texting BAGIVE to 999777.

COVID-19 testing continues to be available at the Williamson County Ag EXPO Park Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

A list of additional testing locations is also available here.

Updated information about COVID-19 can be found through the CDC or by calling the Tennessee Department of Health patient hotline at 877-857-2945.

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