Hospitalizations rise statewide, local officials discuss possible restrictions
JACKSON, Tenn. — Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are up across the state, but will Jackson and Madison County issue another mask mandate?
City and county leaders are encouraging residents to take personal responsibility, as Jackson-Madison County General Hospital reported 84 COVID-positive patients on Wednesday and hospitalizations increasing across the state.
“I think we’re getting close to our all-time high of hospitalizations in the state. So, I expect to see our numbers continue to go up because we sometimes lag behind the other regions as far as Middle and East region of the state,” said Amy Garner, chief compliance and communications officer for West Tennessee Healthcare.
WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News reporter Julia Ewoldt asked leaders if there were any discussions about adding restrictions or reinstating the mask mandate.
“We had that discussion this morning about a mask mandate. We discuss that a lot,” Kim Tedford, Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department director, said. “We certainly don’t want to put a mask mandate back in place. We just want people to do what they should do.”
While West Tennessee Healthcare is reporting that about 32% of patients at the Dyersburg hospital are COVID-positive, leaders say they wish the governor would issue a mask mandate state-wide.
“I think it would have been better to have a coordinated direction from the state as far as mask mandates and things like that. That’s not what the governor chose to do, and we have to make these individual decisions,” Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris.
As Halloween approaches, officials have the following reminders for residents:
- Avoid large gatherings.
- If you are COVID-positive or are in quarantine due to an exposure to a positive case, do not pass out candy or participate in any Halloween events.
- Wear a mask.