Madison County health officials talk about resources and COVID-19 in children
JACKSON, Tennessee – As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department, West Tennessee Healthcare officials and government leaders are talking about the growing problem.
West Tennessee Healthcare reports that 144 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized Wednesday morning. Of these, 36 are on ventilators and 48 are in intensive care.
“The delta variant is a much deadlier virus. We have found that once the patient is on a ventilator, there is about a 90% chance that they will not be able to, ”said Jackie Taylor of West Tennessee Healthcare.
The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department reports that there are more than 2,000 active cases of COVID-19 in the county.
The department says it sees an average of 123 positive cases per day, 16 more than the week before.
Health officials say they are seeing the highest numbers in Madison County since the start of the pandemic.
“This is a very dangerous situation, and I don’t think it’s going to get any better anytime soon,” said Amy Garner, compliance and communications manager for West Tennessee Healthcare.
With the increase in the number of cases, personnel and spacing remain an issue.
“As we take more resources for COVID patients, it’s less resources for other care,” Taylor said.
“We will have to start allocating resources. You know, decide who would be the most successful patient to survive. Those most likely to survive will get these resources. We’ll have to take them, we’re at the helm to make those decisions, ”Taylor said.
Concerns over the number of children testing positive are increasing as 838 children aged 5 to 18 have tested positive since August 1.
“We want to reduce the spread in the school system so that we can keep children in school and continue to learn. So we’re currently focusing on the positive school-age test we’re getting, ”said Kim Tedford, regional director of the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department.
To do their part in mitigating the virus in children, the Jackson-Madison County school system has put in place a mask mandate that begins this week.
So far, 36 parents have withdrawn their child.
The school district tries to keep their children in in-person learning. However, if schools are significantly affected by the isolation or quarantine of COVID-19, they say they will need to take more serious action.
“We will take steps to take advantage of state waivers to close a classroom or, if warranted, close a school. Distance learning would be used if a classroom or school were to be closed, ”said Greg Hammond, JMCSS chief of staff and information.
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