COVID-19

COMMENTARY
Dr. Katrina Green of Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: I invited Gov. Lee to visit my hospital. He didn’t come.

BY: - August 19, 2021

Hospitals in Tennessee are filling up to capacity.  We are seeing the effects of the erosion of our nursing workforce combined with the consequences of letting the Delta variant run rampant in our largely unvaccinated state.   Last weekend, I was working in a rural hospital, treating sick COVID-19 patients that needed to be in the […]

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: U.S. President Joe Biden arrives to give a primetime address to the nation from the East Room of the White House March 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden gave the address to mark the one-year anniversary of the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Biden mandates vaccines in nursing homes, admonishes GOP governors on school masks

BY: - August 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nursing homes will be required to ensure their staffers are vaccinated against COVID-19, or risk losing federal Medicare and Medicaid dollars, the Biden administration announced Wednesday in a major move on vaccinations as the delta variant sweeps many states. President Joe Biden at a press conference also criticized Republican governors who have prohibited […]

Tory Watson of Memphis Police Department gets his vaccine. First responders Memphis and Shelby County police officers, firefighters and EMTs get COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday Dec. 29, 2020. The Shelby County Health Department is administering the shots in a process that will go on for several weeks. (© Karen Pulfer Focht)

Shelby County Commission takes steps to combat pediatric COVID crisis

BY: - August 18, 2021

Shelby County has reached limited availability in ICUs across the county due to a surge of positive COVID-19 cases, prompting the Shelby County Commission to take measures designed to combat high levels of pediatric COVID cases.  On Wednesday, commissioners voted to increase the operating budget of Shelby County’s Health Services Division to combat nurse shortages, […]

A woman winces as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine during a pop-up clinic at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in South Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Vaccination rates of Tennessee youth among the lowest in the nation

BY: - August 18, 2021

In Sullivan County, where COVID cases have tripled in the past two weeks, the local health department’s medical director has started to see a slight but notable shift among the attitudes of parents whose children are old enough to get a vaccine. Public schools have been back in session for just over a week, and […]

Metro Public Healthy Molly Shine preps a vaccine while sister Maya and Sara Gana wait at a recent Nashville mobile vaccine clinic. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Pediatrics association pushes back on Lee and requests meeting

BY: - August 17, 2021

The Tennessee Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement Tuesday firing back to Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order giving parents of school children the ability to opt out of school mask requirements, saying the group “strongly disagrees” with Lee.  “We implore all parents to continue to send their  children to school masked. […]

Lockeland Elementary School in Nashville. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Lieutenant governor warns school districts to follow new mask opt-out order

BY: - August 17, 2021

Lt. Gov. Randy McNally threatened Tuesday to take “remedial options” against school systems that refuse to follow the governor’s order allowing parents to opt students out of mask requirements. “I am extremely appalled and alarmed at the response to Gov. Lee’s executive order from Metro Nashville Public Schools and Shelby County Schools. This order was […]

COMMENTARY
Downtown Nashville on a typical night. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Commentary: Leaders lead.

BY: - August 17, 2021

Enough already. It is time for Nashville to step up and follow New York’s and San Francisco’s lead, and put in place a vaccination/testing mandate for high-contact indoor establishments and large-venue events.    That opening paragraph might strike some as delusional: sure, we’re the blue island in a (feels like literally) bloody red sea, but we’re […]

See nothing, hear nothing, say nothing: children will bear the brunt of the state's mishandling of the COVID crisis. (Photo illustration: John Partipilo)

School officials, lawmakers react to Lee order on masks in schools

BY: - August 16, 2021

Shortly after Gov. Bill Lee concluded a Monday press conference at which he announced parents across the state will have the option to decide if their children wear masks in school or not, responses began to pour in from elected officials and school districts.  Lee issued an executive order mandating school systems must allow parents […]

Dr. Michelle Fiscus prepares for an interview in her Williamson County home. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Fiscus disputes report she had muzzle sent to her office before firing

BY: - August 16, 2021

Fired state medical director or immunizations Dr. Michelle “Shelley” Fiscus shot back at a Department of Safety report showing she had a muzzle sent to her office days before she was terminated by the Department of Health. “They obviously set up a false account, a fake account with her name and her address,” Brad Fiscus, […]

Gov. Bill Lee at a July press conference. (Photo: John Partipilo))

Governor issues school mask opt-out edict

BY: - August 16, 2021

Rather than call a special session to let the Legislature deal with school board actions, Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order Monday requiring school systems to let parents opt out of mask mandates. If a school system were to challenge the order, Lee said such a move would be against the law. He noted […]

In Nashville last December, parents urging a return to in-person classes staged a protest at Metro Nashville Schools office. (Photo: John Partipilo)

School boards across state take heat from parents on masks

BY: - August 16, 2021

Beth Simpson, a mother of five who sits on the Johnson City school board, laid out two stacks of printouts for dramatic effect, one to her right and one on her left, as she addressed an audience of parents growing increasingly impatient on Friday night.  “Most people are here because of masks,” Simpson said. “That’s […]

COMMENTARY
Gov. Bill Lee ending his third State of the State address. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Governor defends no-bid contracts during state of emergency

BY: - August 13, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee is standing behind his administration’s decision to sign hundreds of sole-source contracts over the last year and a half even though many of them didn’t have anything to do with the COVID-19 state of emergency. The governor’s Unified Command Group, made up of the Department of Health, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and […]