(Jackson, Miss.) – Tuesday, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced significant measures that the City of Jackson is taking on to further its response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus public health crisis.
“The City is expanding its testing by purchasing 6,000 of our own tests, 5,000 of which will be distributed through a partnership with Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in order to do more testing for residents that are in need. An additional thousand tests will be prioritized to first responders and inmates at the Hinds County jail. We will be entering into an inter-local agreement in order to ensure that the inmate population can be tested because that is a very vulnerable population based on their close confinement,” said Mayor Lumumba during the press briefing. The tests will be ready by Friday, April 10, 2020.
Mayor Lumumba went on to announce a number of different measures that will be put in place such as offering hazard pay to Jackson police officers and firefighters – a one-time payment for serving on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City of Jackson has also partnered with a local hotel to provide “quarantine shelters” for those residents who cannot quarantine at home out of concern for exposing the elderly or those with underlying issues to the virus.
On Friday, April 10th, the City will launch its “Fight Together, Stand Apart” initiative in partnership with the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center. With “Fight Together, Stand Apart”, the City will introduce its own COVID-19 Hotline and Symptom Tracker to determine where COVID-19 hotspots are across the city. “This Symptom Tracker will allow us to better coordinate a response to those who are infected with the virus. We are providing a Hotline where residents can call if they believe they are experiencing some of the symptoms of COVID-19,” said Mayor Lumumba.
Symptoms of the coronavirus include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. The COVID-19 Hotline numbers are 601-586-3067 (local) and 1-866-375-2819 (toll-free).
Citizens will be able to access the Symptom Tracker on the homepage of the City of Jackson website by mobile phone, tablet, or computer. The system will allow citizens to report their symptoms from the safety of their homes, thus helping public health officials and the City to prioritize resources. Users will have complete control over what information they want to share. The data will also be used to help public health officials analyze the combinations of symptoms, age, and underlying conditions to better understand the spread of the disease in our community.