Third virus-related death reported as Madison Co. sees 111 new cases in under a week

JACKSON, Tenn. — 111 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since Sunday, and we’re at just one week since the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department ordered a mask mandate.

Health Dept Stats Jul10

Director Kim Tedford says we won’t see the effects of the mandate for a while yet.

“It’s going to be at least two to three weeks before we see, if we see, an improvement in the increase in cases — the case numbers,” Tedford said.

And we still haven’t seen all the cases come back yet from the Fourth of July weekend.

“I think it’s going to take a while for the wearing of masks to really have an impact on the numbers just simply because of that weekend,” said Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris.

In the meantime, the health department is reaching out to people who have had contact with positive patients.

“I don’t know the exact number of contacts,” Tedford said. “I know it’s well over 500 that they’re trying to contact and we have to contact on a daily or every-other-day basis.”

At least 15 health department employees are contacting new patients and reaching out to their close contacts, but tracing is getting more difficult.

“Some people just don’t feel like it’s our right to know as a government agency, that information. We’ve seen an increase in that since we put the mask mandate in place, which is… I won’t even go there,” Tedford said.

Tedford says contact tracing is one of the ways the health department tracks how infectious diseases spread, and helps health officials determine ways to control that spread.

But county leaders say they still believe that tracing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 is possible.

“We had light when we put the restrictions on businesses,” Mayor Harris said. “It was acceptable and reasonable, and so now, I think if we do these things, that we can continue on with our economy opening and hopefully schools opening.”

So that means wash your hands, stay six feet apart and wear your mask.

Tedford also confirmed Friday morning that a third patient, an 82-year-old man, has died due to complications from COVID-19.

A fourth COVID-positive patient also died, but their death was due to injuries sustained in a car crash and not due to the virus.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News