HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn (WDEF) – Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger held a press conference this morning to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the county’s position on vaccines.

“What I’m going to ask health officials is to extend the mask’s term with an expiration on March 31, 2021,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said.

Health officials say the surging New Year’s numbers are expected to be revealed next week and they were hoping for a better outcome in the holiday season.

“Consider playing Russian roulette. If you have one of those empty rooms, that’s okay. But if you’re the person who gets the room full, that’s a really big deal. If you are the person who is very susceptible to this virus and its complications, there is a good chance that you are dead, ”says Dr. Mark Anderson, Infectious Disease at Chi Memorial.

At the conference, the Department of Health said the pandemic had strained all systems intended to deal with this virus.

“Now we are experiencing new interruptions and new stresses on our system. There are not enough vaccines. There are logistics delivery challenges, vaccine implementation challenges, huge vaccine demand and challenges for equitable access, ”said Becky Barnes, of the Hamilton County Health Department.

Health officials are still seeing the number of Covid-19 cases increasing at an alarming rate and with the new variant of Covid-19 this is unlikely to change. However, officials say that while the variant is more contagious, it doesn’t appear to be more dangerous.

“Right now, the information is that this variant is sensitive to the immunity that is received with this vaccination,” says Dr. Anderson.

To stay up to date on health services vaccine information and distribution, Click here.

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