West Tennessee Healthcare board meets, discusses plan for possible second wave of COVID-19

JACKSON, Tenn.– The West Tennessee Healthcare Board of Trustees met Tuesday evening to discuss where their plans and budget stands as they anticipate a second coronavirus wave.


With the impact of COVID-19, West Tennessee Healthcare officials say the number of clinic and surgery visits have dropped. However Tuesday, they discussed a major jump in COVID-19 patients in the last two weeks, and for that reason they are concerned.

With COVID-19 cases increasing at a steady rate, healthcare officials discussed their plan of action if the hospitals face a second wave.

“Recognizing in the flu season as well as the current COVID season that we could see a ‘dual-demic’ and that could be very harsh on our health care system,” President and CEO James Ross said.

The board met at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. They discussed the hospital’s plan for the provision for patient care, and where they stand in their budget.

“Even though our volumes are very close to what we had budgeted for the year, the mix of those volumes is quite a bit different. With a significant number of medical patients and COVID patients versus surgical patients,” Chief Financial Officer Jeff Blankenship said.


The hospital is facing a 69.7% increase of patient intake, but Blankenship says they have been preparing for a long time now with focus on COVID-19 as we head into the winter.

“Across the state we have seen these numbers rise, so it’s not only here in West Tennessee. This is truly something that is concerning for all health care systems across the state,” Ross said.

Ross discussed if the flu and COVID-19 increase in volume, the hospital could face not having enough staff to handle the influx of surrounding counties. This could result in having to restrict some transfers.

The hospitals are continuing to make rooms and beds available as they gear up for a potential second and third wave surge.


“Even in this time of Thanksgiving and other family gatherings, that you do that with the up most caution and with great reserve,” Ross says.

Ross advises to continue wearing masks, mandate or not.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News