Health officials confirm enrollment in plasma trial, mayors hope to allow summer activities

JACKSON, Tenn. — Jackson and Madison County leaders updated us on coronavirus in the area Wednesday.

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Jackson-Madison County General Hospital had 508 patients Wednesday morning, a stark contrast to the little more than 400 just weeks ago.

West Tennessee Healthcare Chief Compliance and Communications Officer Amy Garner says they also have more positive news.

“We are enrolled in a clinical trial with the Mayo Clinic, and it is to see how well patients do when they receive convalescent plasma,” Garner said.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News was with recovered COVID-19 patient Todd Lewis a few weeks ago when he donated plasma.

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“We’ve had several patients who have received convalescent plasma, and they’ve done well a majority of the time,” Garner said. “We’ll continue to participate in that clinical trial and see how things go.”

They’ve also been given the drug Remdesivir, which is supposed to help shorten recovery time.

“We’ve given that to one patient at this point. You have to meet certain criteria for us to get that specific drug because it’s limited in supply,” Garner said.

Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department Director Kim Tedford says the state is continuing to test nursing homes in the area. Now, assisted living facilities are being tested too.

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“We’ve got five: The Cades Center, Alexandria Place, Elmcroft, Regency Morning, Morningside, all are signed up to do mass testing,” Tedford said.

As far as the summer outlook? The mayors are still waiting to see the results from Memorial Day weekend.

“We’re anxiously awaiting a week to two weeks to see the increased activity, if we’re going to have an uptick in our number of cases. So far, so good,” said Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris.

And they’re hoping along with the sportsplex being open, they can allow some other activities as well.

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“We’re also looking at potentially, if we can get our sponsors and everything lined up, to have some Amp concerts later in the summer,” Jackson Mayor Scott Conger said. “That’s all contingent on what we can do and have social distancing and have guidelines there for those concerts.”

The health department also received more face masks. Those will be given away Monday, June 1 from 8:30 to 11:30 at the Jackson Fairgrounds.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News