Jackson Madison County COVID Briefing
Jackson, TN. (WNBJ)-
The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department held a COVID briefing today, confirming 35 additional COVID related deaths, bringing the total of deaths in Madison County to 354. Kim Tedford (Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department Director) stated, “We don’t always know immediately when someone dies. So, there’s always been a discrepancy from what the state confirms as our death toll compared to what we release.”
Epidemiology staff were notified of the additional deaths after the Tennessee Department of Health Office of State Chief Medical Examiner reconciled outstanding death certificates with COVID-19 as an underlying cause of death. COVID-19 deaths are not reported directly to the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department. Kim Tedford (Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department Director) informed us, “Sometimes we know about a death related to COVID because of our contact tracing we may be responding to a case that’s been reported to us, and a family member may answer the phone and say Mr. John Doe is in the hospital right now because of COVID. When we receive that information, our epidemiologist is able to is able to have access to that information and the hospital and follow that patient to see the outcome.”
Tennessee Department of Health attributed the lag in death reporting data to many factors including the manual process most providers and facilities undertake, the increase in at-home deaths, and the strain on public health infrastructure during case surges. Kim Tedford (Jackson Madison County Regional Health Department Director) explained, “we’ve tried our very best from the beginning of the pandemic to only announce deaths we were confident had been confirmed from the chief medical examiner as COVID being a cause of death or contributing factor. We delay reporting that until we have that confidence.”
The 35 backlogged COVID-19 fatalities span from November 2020 to December 2021. They range from ages 48 to 93. The deaths include 16 females and 19 males. The racial makeup of the cases is 25 white, eight black, one other/multiracial, and one unknown. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be located on the Tennessee Department of Health at the website listed on the screen. https://covid19.tn.gov/.