Health officials: ‘Honestly it’s killing us.’

JACKSON, Tenn. — Madison County now has 995 total cases of COVID-19. The hospital has 91 positive COVID-19 patients, 25 of which are on a ventilator.

Health Dept Data

Dean Currie, Jackson-Madison County General Hospital’s Chief of Surgery, says the surge of patients disrupted being able to do surgery.

“Very stressful for our staff, but the staff has really stepped up and because they’ve done that, it’s enabled us to keep doing surgeries that have to be done,” Currie said.

Anytime they are dealing with a positive patient, doctors and nurses have full PPE on. And to keep infection to a minimum, patients are being intubated in their rooms before going to the operating room.

So what are city and health leaders doing to help bring the numbers down?

“We talk about issues, complaints that we may get. We try to address those. Reach out to those businesses,” said Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department Director Kim Tedford.

Jackson Mayor Scott Conger says being in Madison County feels like we’re on an island.

“We’re the only county outside of Lauderdale and Dyer County in West Tennessee that have a mandate,” Conger said.

“These surrounding counties that are not following the distancing and masking their sick people are coming to us, and honestly it’s killing us,” Currie said.

And with some counties going back to school next week, if there’s a positive case in the classroom, Tedford says there’s a way to control the spread.

“You don’t have to look at it system wide, you can take it school by school, classroom by classroom, and not shut down the entire education system,” Tedford said.

Many of the cases reported by the health department are being traced to big group gatherings, like weddings, birthdays and parties.

During the press conference, Tedford said if people wore masks in public for the next four weeks, we could see case numbers significantly drop.

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