JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - About a month ago, we told you about Jackson’s efforts to stop the coronavirus spread through a data collection system.
The ‘Symptom Tracker’ creates a map of reported cases which allows resources to be sent to those identified areas.
"It actually creates a heat map on the City of Jackson of symptoms across the city," said Jackson Chief Administrative Officer Robert Blaine.
The city executive said the COVID-19 Symptom Tracker has been an important tool in locating cases of the virus in the city.
He said the data produced a four dimensional map of vulnerable communities and they are working with the state to track infections.
The city will not release the information on the locations of the cases. More than 500 have participated in the data collection, but they want thousands more.
“We’re not giving publicly the information that we’re collecting because we don’t want to run afoul of HIPAA requirements,” said Blaine. “So what we’re doing instead is to be able to send information across the city. For example we have a set of robo calls that will be going out very soon.”
The city CAAO describes the Covid-19 cases as sporadic and said that, according to the State Health Department, Jackson’s death rates are lower.
“We’re actually in the lowest quintile in the state when you look at the number of deaths we have in Jackson,” Blaine added. “Much of that is attributable to the fact that we have a very strong health care center.”
“In order to keep infection down, we really do encourage people to come through our drive-through screenings,” said Jackson Comprehensive Health Center Medical Director Dr. Lynda Jackson-Assad.
The city is working with the health care facility to administer coronavirus testing.
Those free tests are offered at all 10 of their locations. They have conducted 800 tests with 40 positive results.
“We’re also screening people not only for the antigen test, we’re also screening here for the antibody test which tells you whether or not you have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Jackson-Assad.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Blaine wants residents to remain vigilant, maintain social distancing and proper hygiene.