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Key takeaways from the JMCR Health Department weekly COVID briefing

JACKSON, TN (WNBJ) - The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department held another COVID Briefing today via Zoom. During that briefing, local health experts and city leaders spoke about a new resolution encouraging the community to wear masks.

The Regional Director at the health department delivering some grim details about COVID deaths in Madison County.

“Our total number of deaths is up to 250. Our latest death is a 24-year-old. That’s probably the youngest one that we have announced since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Kim Tedford, the Regional Director at JMCR Health Department.

The health department hopes with the full approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine from the FDA will lead to more vaccinations, but in the meantime, they are pushing for a new resolution.

“Our COVID Task Force has come up with and working on a resolution that we are all going to sign and participate in. To encourage our community religious leaders to encourage masking during church services. To encourage the community, when you are out and can not social distance to please wear a mask, to please wash your hands, to social distance even at large gatherings, even if they are outside. We got to take the burden off our hospital,” said Tedford.

39 News also talked to a member of the Madison County COVID Task Force about the recent uptick in cases.

“With so many parents being concerned as we have seen this particular variant of the COVID-19 strand also moving through our school system very rapidly, but also at so many social gatherings it is so important again that we are all trying our best to work together. To have a united message and try to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Matthew Marshall, a member of the Madison County COVID Task Force.

Also, during the briefing, the Jackson-Madison County School System provided some data on mask usage.

“We just wanted to provide a snapshot or an idea of mask usage when it is not mandatory. As you can see it remains high throughout most of the district. 17 out of 25 schools reported 80 percent or more are masking up,” said Greg Hammond, the Communication Director at JMCSS.

For more updates from the health department and other agencies you can watch the next COVID briefing next Wednesday, September 1st at 10 a.m. via Facebook.

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