Madison County mayor, local doctor react to mask mandate expiration
JACKSON, Tenn. — After five months of a mask mandate, Madison County will let it expire.
The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department announced Wednesday morning they were letting the county mask mandate expire at midnight.
The mask mandate had been in place since early November, after counties throughout West Tennessee saw a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
According to the news release, the reason for letting the mandate expire was the recent drop in cases.
WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News spoke to Madison County Mayor Jimmy Harris, who said another focus was the impact on the local healthcare system.
“In the report I got today, there are 30 people in Jackson General with COVID, but at one point a few months ago, on a day, we had 175,” he said.
Since those numbers are down, Mayor Harris said local leaders believe they are in a much better spot.
“There’s no need of putting requirements and restrictions on people or businesses or anything else if we can handle what’s going on. We feel like we can,” Mayor Harris said.
We also spoke to Dr. Jimmy Hoppers with Physicians Quality Care. He says that even though he disagreed with many of the decisions of the COVID-19 Task Force, he thinks this was the right call.
“It has got to end sometime. A lot of places aren’t even enforcing it anymore. I think finally it’s time to let it go and let’s use common sense,” Hoppers said.
As we move forward, the hope is that the vaccine progress will continue, and guard against any big spikes in the future.
“We’re moving towards being able to — we can sustain what we got. The more vaccinations we get, the better off we are as a community,” Mayor Harris said.
He says he still encourages wearing a mask, and continuing to adhere to health and safety guidelines.