Gallery: Looking back on COVID-19 in 2020
JACKSON, Tenn. — With the COVID-19 vaccine rolling out across the state, we are taking a look back on how we got to this point.
It’s hard to remember now, but the first case of a novel coronavirus, soon to be known as COVID-19, was reported in the first days of January 2020.
Little did we know, that novel coronavirus would become the biggest pandemic of the past 100 years.
It was March 5 when the state of Tennessee reported its first confirmed case of the virus. At that point, the U.S. had just 225 total cases reported nationwide.
From there, things spread rapidly. There were shortages in local Jackson stores due to fears of an impending shutdown.
March 12, Gov. Bill Lee declared a state of emergency. Schools began to close, and finally on March 23, there was a confirmed case of coronavirus in Madison County.
In order to combat the spread, on April 2, Gov. Lee issued an executive order requiring residents to stay at home, unless carrying out essential duties. That order expired two weeks later.
At that point there were nearly 3,000 cases in Tennessee, but just 13 in Madison County. By the end of May, over 100,000 Americans had died from COVID-19. Of that number, 364 were right here in Tennessee.
The numbers worried local leaders enough that the City of Jackson and Madison County instituted a mask mandate on July 4.
At that time, the county had over 300 cases. Over the next two months, cases began to climb in Madison County, resulting in over 2,300 confirmed cases by September 1.
The cases continued to rise in September, albeit at a slower pace.
The mask mandate expired at the end of the month, and October was filled with vaccine updates, and a promise that they would be out by the end of the year.
At this point, daily new cases in Madison County hovered in the 30 to 40 range. But in late October, discouraging trends reappeared. Cases spiked to unprecedented levels, and those numbers are still ongoing.
Tennessee is one of the worst in the nation with rising numbers. Madison County is now regularly topping over 100 cases each day, which is a far cry from the previous averages over the past year.
As of December 31, there is a mask mandate in Jackson and Madison County, and vaccine distribution is underway. But with 141 deaths, and a hospital still crowded with COVID-19 patients, this pandemic is far from over.
You can check the COVID-19 tab of our website for updates on the pandemic.