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JMCRHD hosts COVID-19 briefing

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - The Regional Health Department in Jackson held a COVID briefing today.

The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department held a COVID briefing today in an effort to get much-needed information to the public about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The regional director started the briefing with some COVID numbers for the county.

“The current situation in Madison County since Mallory did the release on Tuesday on new cases, we have actually increased 121 cases since Tuesday morning,” said Kim Tedford, Regional Director at Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Dept.

The department believes the Delta variant could be what is causing the uptick in cases, but can not say that is 100% the reason why.

“The Delta variant is causing a higher viral load. In other words, that’s what makes the virus more transmissible because your viral load is so high. The number one public health tool that we have to fight this is vaccines,” said Tedford.

She also speaks on the positivity rate in the county.

“Our positivity rate in Madison County is sitting over 15% right now, which is where we do not want to be. We are averaging about 150 tests a day. That’s an average of the last seven days, with about 46 positive tests a day,” said Tedford.

The President and CEO at West Tennessee Healthcare comments on the situation saying this is a dark time medical professionals are facing right now.

“Yesterday, we set up a tent out in front of our emergency room. That tent came about because of the numbers and the increase we are seeing in our emergency department. This past Monday we saw 294 patients in a 24-hour period of time,” said James Ross, the President, and CEO at West TN Healthcare

The chief communications director at the Jackson-Madison County School System spoke about the COVID numbers among the school district.

“As the cases are up in Madison County the cases are also up among our students and staff. Right now, approximately 67 positive cases are in madison county involve students in our school system, and 218 quarantine in Madison County also involved students in our school system,” said Greg Hammond, Chief Communications Director, at JMCSS.

Hammond goes on to say that does not mean the students were exposed to COVID at school, it just means they have it.

The CEO and President at West Tennessee Healthcare say that 90 percent of COVID patients in the hospital have not been vaccinated.

The health department also urges the community to contact their local healthcare providers to get tested for COVID because the health department does not administer the test.

It was several other different agencies, media outlets, city and county mayors on the Zoom call.

The next COVID briefing can be watched via Facebook on August 11th at 10 a.m.

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