Health board looks at COVID-19 stats, budget

JACKSON, Tenn. — Local health department officials met to discuss several topics.

One of the topics discussed by the Jackson-Madison County Board of Health was budgeting.

WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Marcos Santander asked how we stand locally as far as COVID-19 statistics.

“They’ve kind of changed what you look at. Whether or not cases are going up, if you go to the CDC website and look at what you call community levels and when you look at the whole state of Tennessee, it’s low,” said Kim Tedford, the Regional Director of the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.

Tedford says the health department’s team has gotten smaller.

“When the pandemic hit, we had to hire probably 30 people to help with contact tracing, and then to transition over to vaccination when the vaccine became available. So we’ve backed off of that,” Tedford said.

Tedford says the department received a federal grant of close to $2.8 million, and they have used less than that.

“In that first year of the pandemic, which was in 2020-2021, we spent about $1.6 million on that. And the year that we’re currently in, we’ve spent about that much this year,” Tedford said.

She says the grant money rolls over to the next year, and we’ll need to see what the needs are to plan accordingly.

“We’ll just have to see what the next year holds. I don’t think we’ll be going back to contact tracing and that kind of thing, even when the numbers go up, if they go up. But I don’t have a projection of how much we’ll spend in this next year,” Tedford said.

The health board is planning to meet next year to discuss if any changes will be needed.

You can find more COVID-19 related stories here.

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