Health officials report 2,000 active COVID-19 cases in Madison County

JACKSON, Tenn. — With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise, public health, education and government leaders updated the community about the pandemic.

Jackson Madison County General Hospital

“If we don’t have the staff or bed or equipment for you when your loved one comes here and needs emergency care because 90% of the COVID patients in our hospital chose not to be vaccinated, that’s a problem,” said Amy Garner, Chief Compliance and Communications Officer for West Tennessee Healthcare.

West Tennessee Healthcare reports there are 185 COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. Of those, 49 are on a ventilator.

As cases rise, staff and spacing are becoming more of an issue. The hospital doesn’t know how much further they can stretch.

“As of Monday, we decreased surgical cases by 50% in order to free up some staff and some space in order for us to add additional ICU beds,” Garner said.

To prevent more hospitalizations, they are increasing the amount of monoclonal antibody infusions they will provide. They say they are also calling in the National Guard to help.

“They have approved us to get 10 individuals to come and help us with our infusions. That infusion is really important in that it might help keep you from being sick and having to be hospitalized, so that helps us with our hospital capacity,” Garner said.

Garner says most admissions over the last few weeks are from Madison, Dyer, Gibson and Hardeman counties.

“We are admitting twice as many COVID patients as we are discharging, and that trajectory cannot continue,” Garner said.

“People are tired of the masking and tired of the social distancing in how you manage gatherings, but please consider doing that does make a difference. Right now, we need all the help we can get,” said Dr. Jackie Taylor, with West Tennessee Healthcare.

The health department reports there are over 2,000 active COVID-19 cases in Madison County.

“We know that delta is more transmissible among people. It’s three to five times more transmissible than the previous variants. So, what we need to do is get more people vaccinated,” said Kim Tedford, Regional Director of the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.

Both the amount of positive case numbers and the amount of COVID-19 hospitalizations have exceeded the recorded amount in December, the peak of the virus in West Tennessee.

The health department says they are getting together with city leaders, churches, and more people within the community to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

You can find a place with a vaccine near you using this tool.

Categories: COVID-19 Updates, Local News, News