Health officials give update after spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations
JACKSON, Tenn. — Health leaders in Madison County have reported a sudden spike in COVID-19 cases after weeks of decreasing cases and vaccine distribution.
“Since last Wednesday, we have had an increase of 77 cases of COVID-19 in a week’s time, which is the largest increase we’ve had in quite a while,” said Kim Tedford, director of the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.
With the delta variant spreading across the country, Tedford says that’s been a concern, along with fewer people getting vaccinated.
“That’s pretty much in tune with what’s going on across the nation. You can see those numbers have exploded, especially in the southern states because we’re the least vaccinated of all the states in the US,” Tedford said.
Tedford says she highly encourages everyone to get fully vaccinated.
Although the vaccination rate at the health department is low, they are slowing getting to where they need to be. Health officials say 51 percent of people have at least one dose of the vaccine, and almost 46 percent being fully vaccinated.
“Which is better than where the state is sitting. The state is sitting somewhere around 38 percent, a little over 38 percent, for fully vaccinated. That’s horrible,” Tedford said.
Over at the Jackson-Madison County General Hospital, chief compliance and communications officer Amy Garner says COVID-19 hospitalization rates are drastically rising.
“We went from five hospitalized COVID patients last Monday to 19 yesterday, so we’re seeing a spike in the number of hospitalized COVID patients,” said Garner.
Garner says 99 percent of those patients have not been vaccinated.
“Our hospital census is already so very high for this time of the year. We had over 600 patients yesterday and this morning, and that is a very high census for us regardless of our COVID patients,” said Garner.
Health officials say they will continue to monitor COVID cases and vaccination rates in the near future.