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Health department re-issues mask mandate

Officials are saying Madison county has reached a point they really did not want to reach after more than 150 new COVID-19 cases came in right before the weekend, putting a strain on the hospital and health department.

“I’m just going to be honest with you, we cannot continue this rate going into the holiday season when families are going to be gathering. They’re going to be get togethers", says Director of the Jackson Madison County General Health Department, Kim Tedford."

Madison county is averaging 50 cases a day, with a huge spike of 151 cases on Friday.

That spike caused leaders in the county to vote to re-issue the mask mandate.

“Those are current cases, they’re not old cases or a back log of tests that got lot in the back log some kind of way", adds Tedford.

With over 800 active cases contact tracers at the Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department are working around the clock.

The Jackson Madison County General Hospital is also seeing the affects of the spike in cases in Madison county and in the region.

They are not able to transfer patients to larger hospitals because of capacity limits, which is causing them to also not accept any transfers from hospitals in rural west Tennessee.

“But again, we have had to hold patients in alternate spaces in our hospital while we wait for beds to come available, for patients to be places. That is not the type of compassionate care that we want to provide as a healthcare system", says CEO of West Tennessee Healthcare, James Ross.

The mask mandate is now in affect and will continue until the end of December. For 39 News, I’m Imani Williams, in Jackson.

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