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Jackson-Madison County General Hospital feeling impacts of COVID Omicron variant

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - Grocery stores, restaurants, and also the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital are feeling the effects of the COVID Omicron variant. The illness-causing a significant increase in patients and absence among staff at the hospital.

“Our volume of COVID patients has really increased in the last few weeks primarily due to the Omicron variant because it is highly contagious,” said Amy Garner, the Communications Officer at West Tennessee Healthcare.

The communications officer at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital talks about how this COVID variant is impacting patients.

“The majority of our patients that have to come into the hospital and have to be admitted or go to the ICU or be placed on a ventilator are still not vaccinated. So, we are seeing a lot of success with the vaccinations,” said Garner.

The general hospital says as of yesterday numbers at the hospital are nearing new peaks.

“Our former peak of COVID patients for our system and for Jackson-Madison Co. General Hospital was in August at 216 COVID patients total and 188 of those patients were here at JMCGH. As of this morning 187, we are going to exceed that peak.” said Garner.

The hospital is extremely busy at this time due to COVID and regular emergencies as well.

“We are seeing everything, and we are incredibly busy. The complicating thing about all of that is that we have a pretty high number of staff members who are also out with the Omicron variant because it is so highly contagious, and you can still get it when you’re vaccinated. So, we have about 129 employees out at JMCGH today that have tested positive for COVID.”

Hospital officials encourage the public to do what they can to combat the surge.

“It is really important for the community to do their part in making sure that we get a handle on this particular surge by being vaccinated, by wearing a mask, trying not to go out in large groups if you can help it. Wash your hand, don’t go out if you are sick. All those things I have been preaching about for the last two years now but it is really important right now with our hospitals in the situation that we are in,” said Garner.

The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department hosted a COVID briefing today so we will provide you with the latest as more information becomes available.

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