COVID-19 in Mississippi: What You Need to Know | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

COVID-19 in Mississippi: What You Need to Know

Important information about the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and what you can do to stay safe. Check out COVID-19 resources around the state at jacksonfreepress.com/covid19resources.

City & County

COVID-19 In Mississippi: Lacking Leadership, Buy-In or Both?

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The grand debate over a protective mask, played out on social media from the local level to the halls of the White House itself, is representative of the state of the pandemic in America.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tate Reeves Needs to Stop Making Excuses, Start Leading

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"Gov. Tate Reeves is spinning. He is grasping at any straw he thinks can divert attention away from his abysmal leadership during the COVID-19 crisis in Mississippi."

Politics

Lt. Gov. Hosemann, Speaker Gunn Test Positive for COVID-19; Governor Hints at ‘Total Lockdowns’

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Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn have both tested positive for COVID-19, as have a number of other state legislators.

Politics

Reeves' Tweet 'Messy, Loud and Wrong,' Protest Leader Says

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A Mississippi Senate leader and a protest organizer are speaking out against Republican Gov. Tate Reeves's tweet Sunday that said the “liberal media” is ignoring new coronavirus cases that could have been caused by protests and blaming a surge of holiday barbecue parties.

City & County

Jackson Councilman Suggests Buying Masks for Residents

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Days after the city of Jackson passed a new rule requiring people to wear masks in public, City Councilman Kenneth Stokes is proposing the city purchase 100,000 masks to distribute to residents.

Politics

Mississippi House Speaker Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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House Speaker Philip Gunn said Sunday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus as state health officials reported more than 200 new infections and five deaths linked to the pandemic.

Health Care

July 4th: COVID-19 Cases Top 30,000, Average at Record 683 Per Day

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The total number of COVID-19 cases in Mississippi passed 30,000 on Friday, with that day's total at a near-record 990 of reported newly infected Mississippians. Four people died from complications related to the virus yesterday.

Health Care

COVID-19 Cases Near Record Day at 914, Hospitalized Patients Remains High

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The Mississippi State Department of Health reported that 914 new people tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the second-highest day since MSDH began reporting numbers in April. More than 1,100 Mississippians have died from COVID-19-related illnesses in that same time period.

State

870 New COVID-19 Cases and Peak Hospitalizations, as Reeves Warns Health System ‘At Risk’

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State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs’ increasingly frantic warnings about the state of COVID-19 in Mississippi continue to reflect in the numbers.

Politics

Mississippi Pausing Reopening Process After COVID Surge

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday the state is pausing its efforts to reopen the economy after a recent surge in new reported coronavirus cases.

City & County

Second Amended Stay Safe Jackson Executive Order

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released a second amended executive order concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

State

COVID-19 Hits New Mississippi Highs, Municipalities Issuing Own Mask Orders

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Mississippi’s rising coronavirus curve is prompting dire warnings from state health officials—and some municipalities are beginning to issue mask orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in public spaces.

State

COVID-19 Cases Average 557 Per Day, Highest So Far

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This past week, the average number of daily new cases of COVID-19 rose to 557 in Mississippi.

State

Mississippi’s Healthcare System In Imminent Danger, Stressed MSDH Officials Warn

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Mississippi’s health-care system is rapidly approaching catastrophe, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs warned Thursday—not in a matter of months, but in a matter of weeks.

City & County

Lumumba Threatens To Shut Down Businesses If COVID-19 Infection Rate Spikes

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Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba is expressing frustration at people not following social-distancing guidelines to counter the spread of COVID-19, saying he may need to tighten restrictions he earlier loosened if the rate of infection and hospitalization spikes.

State

BREAKING: Mississippi Adds 1,092 New COVID-19 Cases In Single Day

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The day after State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs warned of a looming catastrophe facing Mississippi in the fall, the state’s hospitals reported the highest incidence of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations since the virus first arrived in Mississippi: 767.

Politics

UPDATE: 1646 New Cases of COVID-19 Since Jun 17

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The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting a severe “data processing” issue preventing the release of new COVID-19 information that has persisted since the middle of last week, meaning the agency has not shared updated numbers on new cases and deaths since June 18.

City & County

Mayor Announces Local TSA PreCheck Service for Travelers, Warns COVID-19 Still Serious Danger

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Citizens of Jackson who previously had to travel 30 miles to Vicksburg for Transportation Security Administration PreCheck Services can now obtain the same with the city.

Politics

Oxford Sees COVID-19 Crisis as ER Visits Up Statewide; State Blames Fraternities

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Mississippians are not doing enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs warned at yesterday’s press event.

State

Mississippi Saw 489 COVID-19 Infections Tuesday, State May Not Be Reporting All Cases

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Mississippi saw 489 new cases of COVID-19 as of the end of Tuesday, June 16, one of the highest single-day counts on the records since the crisis started in the state in March.

State

12 Detainees, 7 Staffers Test Positive for COVID-19 at Hinds Detention Facilities

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Twelve inmates and seven employees across Hinds County detention facilities have tested positive for COVID-19, Sheriff Lee Vance told the press last night.

State

COVID-19 Cases Top 20,000 in Mississippi, Mental Health Services Available

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Mississippi has now officially seen more than 20,000 cases of COVID-19 with 353 new COVID-19 cases as of yesterday, along with 20 deaths.

State

June 13: Mississippi Averaging 330 COVID-19 Cases Per Day, a New High

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Mississippi this past week reached a new high in the COVID-19 pandemic, averaging 330 new people per day identified as infected with the virus.

Politics

‘Back to Business Mississippi’ Grant Website Live, Money Earmarked for Women, Minorities

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Thursday marked the opening of the state’s Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program. Created via Senate Bill 2772, the program provides a grant of up to $25,000 to small businesses that apply.

State

Dobbs: Younger People Infecting Older Ones with COVID-19 As Bar Curfew Lifted

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The “herculean” task of testing all long-term-care and nursing-home facility staff and residents has concluded, showing 676 positive cases, State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said Thursday.

Politics

Mississippi Governor to Lift Curfew on Bars, Restaurants

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Mississippi bars and restaurants that serve alcohol will soon be able to stay open later as Gov. Tate Reeves prepares to lift a curfew he set because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics

Mississippi Opens Grants for Businesses Hurt by Pandemic

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Mississippi is opening a grant program for small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Safety Net ‘Designed to Fail’ in Good Times Failing Big Now

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It's telling that, as part of his executive orders during this crisis, Gov. Tate Reeves suspended several rules regarding application for and receipt of unemployment benefits. Why did they exist?

City & County

Mayor Lumumba Tests Negative for COVID-19, Urges Continued Vigilance

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Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba tested negative for COVID-19, Communications Director Candace Cole told the Jackson Free Press yesterday. Lumumba had a mouth swab on May 26 at a mobile testing site at Wood Village Apartments. His wife, Ebony Lumumba, also tested negative to COVID-19.

State

Mississippi Governor Says Mask-Shaming During Virus is 'Wrong'

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Monday that the state still faces danger from the coronavirus pandemic, and people should not harass or make fun of those who follow public health recommendations to wear masks in public.

Politics

With 498 Cases, Mississippi’s Sees Largest COVID-19 Day as Storm Threatens

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Today sets a new record for COVID-19 as a Mississippi State Department of Health report shows 498 new confirmed cases and 20 new deaths for Sunday as of 6 p.m. Nine of those deaths is from earlier death certificates.

Politics

MSDH Releases Delayed Long Term Care Facility COVID-19 Data

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After weeks of refusing, Mississippi State Department of Health last night released the names and counties of long-term care facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks.

City & County

Mayor: All Jackson Businesses Can Open; Employees Must Wear Masks

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Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, in an amended ‘Stay Safe Jackson’ executive order taking effect today, loosened restrictions on gatherings and social activities, signaling that the capital city is following the trend across the country.

Politics

Mississippi License Offices to Reopen with Virus Precautions

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Mississippi driver’s license offices will reopen Monday after being closed for about two months because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday.

Politics

Health Officials to Release Names of Long-term Care Facilities With COVID-19 Outbreaks

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After reviewing the recent Hinds County Chancery Court ruling regarding the release of possible protected patient information, the Mississippi Attorney General’s office has recommended that the Mississippi State Department of Health release the names of current long-term care facilities that have COVID-19 outbreaks.

Politics

Mississippi Fully Reopens Today After Biggest Week of COVID-19 Cases, Yet

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Today marks the “final stage” in Gov. Tate Reeves’ order to reopen the state. All businesses may now open, and the state’s schools may proceed with summer programs.

State

At 439 Cases, COVID-19 Hits Another High Just Before 'Safe Return' Kicks In

On Friday, testing confirmed that 439 new people have COVID-19 in the state of Mississippi, the highest one-day total since the Mississippi State Department of Health began reporting test results. Those 439 come on the heels of the 418 reported for Thursday, which was the previous high.

Business

Governor Tate Reeves Launches Back to Business Mississippi Website to Help Small Businesses Recover from COVID-19

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced the launch of the Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program website to help small businesses receive financial support quickly to recover from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19.

City & County

Jackson Airport Traffic Down by 85 percent, Receiving $8.4 Million in CARES Funds

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The effect of COVID-19 has been severe in Jackson's aviation industry. Paul Brown, the chief executive officer of the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority, revealed on May 26 that daily flights have plunged from 25 to seven.

Politics

With 418 Cases, Mississippi Sees Highest Day of COVID-19 Right Before 'Safe Return'

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With Gov. Tate Reeves allowing businesses and most public facilities to fully open on Monday, June 1, with his “Safe Return” order, the Mississippi Department of Health reported its highest one-day tally of people testing positive for COVID-19 today.

Health Care

Mississippi Hospital Lays Off 250 to Offset COVID-19 Losses

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The University of Mississippi Medical Center has laid off 250 employees to offset financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

State

COVID-19 Cluster Related to Northeast Mississippi Funeral

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Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) is reporting a cluster of COVID-19 infections related to a recent funeral in Northeast Mississippi.

Politics

Mississippi Fully Opening as COVID-19 Cases Grow, State Naming Nursing Homes

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Mississippi’s transitional COVID-19 shutdown period is slated to end Monday, June 1, with the end of Gov. Tate Reeves’ “Safer At Home” executive order and the beginning of what he is calling a “Safe Return” order.

Health Care

Judge: Health Department Must Respond to Public Records Request

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A Mississippi judge ruled Tuesday that the state Health Department must respond to a newspaper's public records request about long-term care facilities where outbreaks of the new coronavirus have occurred.

Health Care

COVID-19: UMMC Expert on Emerging Knowledge of the Virus

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In March, Dr. Bhagyashri Navalkele watched the crowds gathering on America’s beaches during spring break with a heavy weight on her shoulders.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE: Dear Dr. Dobbs, Mississippi Needs Precise COVID-19 Data

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It’s often been a slog to get good and relevant information about the spread of the coronavirus that isn’t either confusing or incomplete, or what we get may combine apples and oranges.

Politics

Mississippi In Deep Recession Facing Long Recovery, 273 New Cases of COVID-19

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Mississippi is suffering the effects of a COVID-19-induced recession, deeper than any since the end of World War II, and can expect a long recovery even after it ends, State Economist Dr. Darrin Webb said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing this morning.

City & County

Lumumba's New Robocall Pleads with Jacksonians: No Large Cookouts, Block Parties

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"I ask everyone to resist attending any large gatherings such as cookouts or block parties this holiday weekend. We want you to enjoy yourselves, but we are not out of the woods, yet," the mayor said in the robocall.

State

May 23: Mississippi Tops 13,000 COVID-19 Cases, Daily Average Climbs

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After two near-record days of new reported cases of COVID-19, the total number of cases in Mississippi since the outbreak began has topped 13,000.

State

Mobile COVID-19 Testing Set for Hinds, George and Leake Counties

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Residents of Hinds, George and Leake counties and surrounding communities can be tested for COVID-19 next week as the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Mississippi State Department of Health continue efforts to stem virus transmission by setting up one-day, drive-through collection sites.

City & County

Lumumba Extends Curfew for Five Days, Hinds County Workers Resume Tuesday

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As a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 in Jackson, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba has extended the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. citywide curfew for five more days through Monday, May 25, which is Memorial Day.

State

Mississippi Reports 402 New COVID-19 Cases, Admits Testing Totals Mix In Antibody Tests

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Mississippi State Department of Health’s COVID-19 testing totals include both traditional viral tests and antibody tests, a metric national health experts insist must not be included in testing totals.

State

Governor Tate Reeves Extends Safer At Home Order to Continue Flattening the Curve

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On Friday, May 22, Governor Tate Reeves announced the next steps for Mississippi to continue safely reopening the state's economy and getting people back to work while protecting public health.

State

Mississippi Governor OKs Business Grants from Virus Relief Fund

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday that he is signing a bill that creates a $300 million grant program for small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic.

Politics

Reeves: New Corrections and Public Safety Leaders, Still No Nursing Home Names

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Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to announce new leadership for the Mississippi Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Safety today, bringing new oversight to the two state agencies.

State

Reeves to Help 'Safely Resume' In-Person Church Services, 27 New COVID-19 Deaths in MS

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Gov. Tate Reeves will provide guidance to the state’s churches today, in an attempt to help “safely resume” in-person services, the governor tweeted this morning.

Health Care

OPINION: Virologist on Vital COVID-19 Safety Changes, from Toothbrushes to Nose-Picking

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Dr. Cedric O. Buckley, a virologist working with Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba, warns that the way we usually store our toothbrushes could result in COVID-19 infection.

State

HHS Delivers $91,086,258 to Expand Testing Capacity in Mississippi

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The Department of Health and Human Services is delivering $91,086,258 in new funding to Mississippi to support testing for COVID-19.

Politics

Analysis: Mississippi to Mull Many Requests for Relief Cash

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Mississippi lawmakers and Gov. Tate Reeves still have to make big decisions about spending most of the $1.25 billion that the federal government is sending the state for coronavirus relief.

Politics

Mississippi Governor's 'Safer at Home' Order Enters Final Week

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves' “safer at home” order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus is entering its final week.

State

Press Sues MSDH for Nursing Home Names As COVID-19 Cases Top 11,000

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Mississippi saw 136 official new coronavirus cases and seven deaths as of 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 17, bringing the total number of statewide cases to 11,432 and deaths to 528, as many Mississippi businesses began reopening over the weekend.

State

May 17: Average COVID-19 Cases Down Overall, But Week Ends With High Numbers

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The day after Gov. Tate Reeves announced a path for reopening tattoo parlors, Mississippi hit milestones of more than 11,000 cases of COVID-19 and passed 500 deaths.

City & County

Mayor Lumumba Eases Restrictions on Businesses; Urges Continued Vigilance

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Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba is slowly re-opening the Capital City following months of lockdown due to COVID-19, while acknowledging that data does not yet reflect that Jackson or the State of Mississippi has experienced a decline in the rate of new COVID-19 cases.

Politics

Governor Tate Reeves Amends Safer At Home Order to Safely Reopen Tattoo Parlors

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced the next step for Mississippi to continue safely reopening the state's economy and getting people back to work while flattening the curve of COVID-19.

Politics

COVID-19 Cases Crest Above 10,000 in State, Rare Complications in Children Found

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Mississippi reached a grim new milestone in the spread of COVID-19 across the state on Thursday, as the Mississippi State Department of Health announced the total count of detections has topped 10,000 as of late Wednesday.

Politics

Governor: Virus Relief Grants Will Aid 'Main Street, Mississippi'

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday that he expects to sign a bill to create grants for small businesses by using part the state's coronavirus relief money.

Politics

Legislature Sends $300 Million in Relief Funds to Mississippi Small Businesses

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The Mississippi Legislature passed a $300-million stimulus bill directed at Mississippi’s small businesses on Wednesday night, putting a declarative end to the debate over who would appropriate $1.25 billion in CARES Act funds, and how to administer the money.

City & County

‘Stay Safe Jackson’ Order Reopens Capital City Due to Effect of State Order on Businesses

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The capital city is headed into the first phase of reopening for two weeks starting Saturday, May 16, when Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s “Stay at Home” executive order lapses.

Cover

‘We Have Not Met Our Peak’: Dr. LouAnn Woodward on UMMC’s Battle Against COVID-19

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LouAnn Woodward spoke to the Jackson Free Press about the breakthroughs in testing and treatment at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, as well as the state's larger coronavirus strategy.

Politics

Road to a Gentleman’s Surrender: Gov. Tate Reeves Strikes Hard, Then Bows to Legislature

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To hear it from (Tate) Reeves, the Legislature fiddled while Mississippi burned, gambling with the lives and livelihoods of its people through unnecessary legalistic dissembling.

Editor's Note

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: We’re All Living in Tate Reeves’ Pottery Barn Now

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As Gov. Tate Reeves learned this past week, the most powerful public office in Mississippi isn't actually that of governor.

Politics

Mississippi Governor Tightens Virus Rules in 7 Hard-Hit Counties

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday that he is tightening regulations in parts of the state seeing the fastest spread of the new coronavirus.

Politics

COVID-19 Update: Hospitalizations Down, Almost Half State Deaths in Care Facilities

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State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs displayed cautious optimism at yesterday’s coronavirus presser, based on a slackening in hospitalizations statewide.

Politics

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Slump Today as Mississippi Continues to Reopen

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Gov. Tate Reeves’ safer-at-home order continues this week, with notable exceptions, as the Mississippi State Department of Health announces 173 new cases of COVID-19 and five new deaths from Sunday reports.

Politics

Gov. Reeves Extends Unemployment Benefits to Help Workers Impacted by COVID-19

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced efforts to extend the unemployment benefits provided to help Mississippi workers and their families hard-hit by COVID-19.

City & County

City Announces Robinson Road Repaving Project; Stay-At-Home Order Still in Effect

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Robinson Road will see a three-phase repaving project made possible through a partnership between the City of Jackson and the Hinds County Board of Supervisors, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced last week.

Politics

Analysis: Reeves Tries to Balance Concerns of Health, Jobs

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Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is having to balance his libertarian-leaning instincts with public health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

State

May 9: Daily Average of COVID-19 Cases Keeps Climbing As More Businesses Open

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The day after Gov. Tate Reeves once again relaxed his "safer-at-home" order, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 288 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths they attribute to the virus. The total number of reported cases since March 11 is now 9,378.

Politics

Governor Reeves Extends 'Safer At Home,' Reopens Barbershops and Salons

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced the next stage for Mississippi to continue safely reopening the state's economy while protecting public health.

Politics

As COVID-19 Cases Hit New High, Legislature Prevails Over Governor In CARES Act Battle

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The same day the fight over control of $1.25 billion in CARES Act relief funds for Mississippi appeared to end, giving the legislative branch a win, Mississippi suffered its greatest increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 yet in one day.

Politics

Mississippi Governor and Lawmakers Claim Unity on Virus Spending

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Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves did a dramatic about-face Thursday, saying that state legislators will have a role in deciding how to spend $1.25 billion the state is receiving from the federal government as part of a massive coronavirus relief package.

Politics

Two Days of Record COVID-19 Deaths Precede Mississippi Reopening

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Mississippi is on track to reopen its parks and restaurants today, as what Gov. Tate Reeves calls the COVID-19 “plateau” continues. This morning, MSDH reported 262 new cases of coronavirus disease detected yesterday, as well as 22 deaths

Politics

Mississippi Governor Says Pandemic No 'Excuse' to Release Inmates

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday that the state will not consider early release for prisoners during the coronavirus pandemic, even with inmates living in conditions that make social distancing difficult.

Politics

COVID-19 Growing Near State’s Meat Processing Plants

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Gov. Tate Reeves acknowledges that cases of coronavirus disease are spiking near the state’s meatpacking industries, and reminded Mississippians that immunocompromised and elderly residents are still under a shelter-at-home order.

Politics

Mississippi Legislators to Consider Virus Aid to Businesses

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Mississippi legislators will be back at work Thursday to consider proposals to help businesses that have been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak, House and Senate leaders said Tuesday.

Politics

2020 Session to Reconvene Thursday, Legislators Release Plan to Help Small Businesses

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By agreement of Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, the Mississippi Legislature will reconvene the 2020 Legislative Session at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, 2020.

State

UPDATE: 32 Deaths From COVID-19 Reported In One Day As State Reopens

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Thirty-two more Mississippians have died as a result of COVID-19, 18 of those from yesterday alone: the largest single-day death toll in the crisis so far.

Politics

Gov. Reeves Amends 'Safer At Home' Order to Reopen Restaurants and Parks

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On Monday, May 4, Gov. Tate Reeves announced the next phase for Mississippi to begin "slowly and safely" reopening the state's economy while continuing to flatten the curve.

Politics

UPDATED: Reeves: State Will Continue Reopening, Despite Not Meeting White House Criteria

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The steady reopening of Mississippi will continue today, at odds with White House gating criteria and the concerns of many health experts in Mississippi and abroad.

City & County

Mayor Lumumba Revises, Extends Jackson Stay-at-Home Order

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Last week, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba signed an executive order to extend the City of Jackson’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order to May 15.

State

May 2: Mississippi Averaging Nearly 250 New COVID-19 Cases Per Day

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One week after Governor Tate Reeves signed his "safer at home" order that reopened a number of retail businesses and loosened restrictions on non-essential businesses, Mississippi has a reported 7,441 cases of COVID-19 total since March 11.

Politics

Bipartisan Legislative Supermajority Takes Control of CARES Act Money

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Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn led a legislative supermajority to claim $1.25 billion in federal CARES Act funds today, dealing a humbling blow to the authority of Gov. Tate Reeves months into his first term.

Politics

OPINION: COVID-19 Recovery Plan Needs Bipartisan Oversight, Lessons from Katrina

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Mississippi is at a crossroads on our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. Our Legislature must be involved to ensure more balanced priorities and better financial accountability in the use of Mississippi’s CARES Act funds.

City & County

Mayor Lumumba Extends Stay at Home Order Until May 15

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On Thursday, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba signed an Executive Order to further extend the current Stay at Home order from May 1 until May 15.

Politics

Hosemann, Gunn Lead Bipartisan Fight With Governor to Control CARES Funds

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Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and House Speaker Philip Gunn and a raft of legislators from both parties returned to the Capitol today to reassert legislative control over the purse strings of Mississippi, in direct conflict with Gov. Tate Reeves, also a Republican.

State

Black Women Over-represented as COVID-19 Cases Jump to 397 Today

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In spite of hopes for a plateau preceding a decline of new COVID-19 cases, the Mississippi Department of Health reported a record 397 new cases of coronavirus disease today, a sharp spike from previous weeks, during which the average daily increase hovered around 200.

State

State’s COVID-19 Updates Now Include Good News Among the Bad

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Good news is now part of the State of Mississippi’s daily reports on COVID-19 cases and deaths. As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, 3,413 patients known to be infected with the novel coronavirus had recovered, the Mississippi State Department of Health reported today.

Politics

Legislature Asserts Control Over CARES Act Funds by Early Return

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The Mississippi Legislature will reconvene on Monday, “if not sooner,” Senate Minority Leader Derrick Simmons, D-Greenville, told the Jackson Free Press today. The Legislature’s lightning-quick return comes weeks in advance of its anticipated date of May 18.

City & County

Mississippi Justice Institute Sues Mayor Lumumba for Open-Carry Order

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The Mississippi Justice Institute is pursuing a lawsuit against Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba after he signed an executive order temporarily banning open carry of firearms in Jackson.

Politics

Unemployed Mississippians Still Seeking Answers, Relief

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March signaled the beginning of the unemployment crisis in Mississippi, as the first reports of COVID-19 led to the initial rounds of social-distancing guidelines.

Politics

Jackson Attorney with COVID: ‘A False Sense of Protection Here’

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Since diagnosing its first COVID-19 positive patient on March 11, Mississippi had seen 6,342 cases of the novel coronavirus as reported April 28, when this story went to press. Of those people, 229 have died, the vast majority of whom are black.

City & County

Suit Challenges Mississippi Mayor's Open Gun Ban Amid Virus

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A Republican state lawmaker filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging a Democratic mayor's temporary ban on the open carry of guns in Mississippi's capital city during part of the coronavirus pandemic.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE: ‘Essential’ Truths: Gov. Reeves Is Failing Many Mississippians

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There is no such thing as a 'nonessential' Mississippian." When I saw Gov. Tate Reeves' tweet that on April 23, I stared at my screen. As a native Mississippian, I know that our leaders don't feel that way about every Mississippi resident. Their own actions, or lack of them, speak volumes.

Politics

Shelter Order Softens on Day of 248 New Cases of COVID-19

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On Monday, Reeves recapped his “safer at home” order, replacing his April 1 shelter-in-place order for two weeks. The order went into effect at 8 a.m. on April 27 and lasts until 8 a.m. on May 11.

State

Mississippi Inmates, Prison Staff Get Masks During Pandemic

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All inmates and employees in Mississippi prisons have been given masks to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, the state Department of Corrections said Monday.

Politics

'Reopen Mississippi' Protesters Demand Governor to Reopen State Amid Pandemic

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Dozens of cars bearing hand-painted messages and signs, American flags, the Mississippi state flag, the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag and other insignia, encircled the Governor’s Mansion in downtown Jackson Saturday, April 25, to demand that Gov. Tate Reeves fully re-open the state amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

State

More Than 6,000 COVID-19 Cases in Mississippi as ‘Safer at Home’ Order Kicks In

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Mississippi saw 183 official new coronavirus cases and two deaths as of 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, bringing the total number of statewide cases to 6,094 and the death count to 229.

Politics

Mississippi Prepares to Ease Some Coronavirus Restrictions

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Some Mississippi shopkeepers will start reopening their retail businesses on Monday as Gov. Tate Reeves begins easing restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

State

April 26: 193 New COVID-19 Cases, 6 Deaths on Saturday

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Another 193 people were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the state on Saturday, with six deaths reported.

State

April 25: Day After 'Safer at Home' Order, 284 new COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths

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One day after Gov. Tate Reeves signed his "safer-at-home" executive order designed to reopen some non-essential businesses, the state added another 284 cases of COVID-19 to Mississippi State Department of Health's official tally.

City & County

City of Jackson Launches Mental Health 'Warmline'

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On Friday, April 24, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced the launch of the City’s first-ever Mental Health ‘Warmline’, designed to help citizens cope with the mental toll of self-isolation during the COVID-19 public health crisis.

State

Governor Tate Reeves Signs 'Safer At Home' Order to Begin Reopening State's Economy

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Gov. Tate Reeves signed a new executive order establishing a statewide Safer at Home order for Mississippi to continue protecting public health while beginning the process to safely reopen the state's economy.

Mississippi's Stay-at-Home Order: An Infographic

A shortcut to understanding Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Politics

Factcheck: Gov. Reeves’ South Korea Comparison on MSNBC’s ‘Meet the Press’

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Appearing on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” last night, Gov. Tate Reeves explained to host Chuck Todd what he believes are Mississippi’s successes in emulating the South Korean model, which has so effectively contained the COVID-19 outbreak there.

State

Mississippi Governor Says Health Officer is Top Adviser on Virus

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday that he will listen to the state's top public health official more than all other advisers as he considers how to gradually reopen the state's economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

State

Mississippi City Revises Limit on Drive-Up Church Amid Virus

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A Mississippi city facing freedom-of-religion lawsuits and pressure from the U.S. attorney general has revised its policy that banned drive-up church services during the coronavirus pandemic, now saying the services are OK with windows rolled up.

Education

Governor Tate Reeves Signs Executive Order Closing Schools for Academic Year

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On Wednesday, April 22, Gov. Tate Reeves signed a new executive order implementing school closures for the rest of the academic year to slow the spread of COVID-19.

State

MABUS: Moral Failure: The Incredible Cruelty of Refusing to Expand Medicaid

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COVID-19 is far more deadly in minority, poor and rural communities, and some of that disparity was avoidable. By failing to expand Medicaid, states like Mississippi left millions with no access to quality and affordable health care.

Crime

AG Fitch Backs Away from Releasing More Pretrial Detainees in Wake of COVID-19

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Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch is backing away from an effort to release pretrial detainees sooner to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Mississippi jails, where it is virtually impossible for inmates to practice social distancing.

State

Black Women May Be Hardest Hit As COVID-19 Cases Pass 5,000, 201 Deaths

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Mississippi now has more than 200 deaths and well over 5,000 cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, only five days after reaching 4,000.

Politics

Mississippi Governor Hints at Reopening Some Businesses Next Week

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday that he expects to take steps next week in a gradual reopening of the state's economy during the coronavirus pandemic. He didn't specify what those will be, but said he's taking advice from public health experts.

State

Q&A with Dr. Thomas Dobbs on Racial Inequity of COVID-19 in Mississippi

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Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs is leading the public-health response to the COVID-19 crisis, directing the State Department of Health and serving as Gov. Tate Reeves’ chief health adviser on the virus and the state’s attempts to stem its spread.

National

Mississippi Small Businesses at Risk of Permanent Closure, Households Struggle

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Approximately 62% of small businesses in Mississippi are at risk of permanently closing within five months as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new report from Main Street America found.

State

April 22: COVID-19 Deaths in Mississippi Now at 193, With 4,894 Total Cases

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The Mississippi State Department of Health announced 10 additional COVID-19 deaths across Mississippi, bringing the total casualties to 193, as well as 178 cases, for a total of 4,894.

Politics

Mississippi Governor: Restarting Economy Won't Be 'Light Switch'

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday that the state economy will reopen gradually after health officials and others say it's safe to do so during the coronavirus pandemic. He cautioned that life will not immediately return to normal.

Politics

Gov. Reeves Says Virus At ‘Plateau’; State Reports Most Deaths in Single Day

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Gov. Tate Reeves described the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi as a “plateau,” suggesting that Mississippians should expect a continuing trend of high numbers in before new infections level off and decline.

National

AP: Publicly Traded Firms Get $300M in Small-Business Loans

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Companies with thousands of employees, past penalties from government investigations and risks of financial failure even before the coronavirus walloped the economy were among those receiving millions of dollars from a relief fund that Congress created to help small businesses through the crisis, an Associated Press investigation found.

State

Mississippi Choctaw Chief Has COVID-19, Urges Precautions

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The chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians says he has tested positive for COVID-19, the Mississippi Free Press reported on Saturday, and he is urging people to follow advice of health professionals to try to slow the spread of the highly contagious new coronavirus.

State

Mississippi Sees 238 New Cases of COVID-19, More Mobile Testing Sites

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Today’s Mississippi COVID-19 case tally included 238 additional Mississippians, down from the previous day’s all-time peak of 300. The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 4,512 total detections of coronavirus in the state since March 11.

State

April 19: MSDH Reports 300 New COVID-19 Cases, Includes Race Demographics

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COVID-19 cases reported by MSDH reached their highest level yet on Saturday. MSDH is reporting that of the 159 deaths attributed to COVID-19, 100 of the deceased were black, 57 white, 1 other and 1 under investigation.

Crime

Hinds County Extends COVID-19 Emergency, Reduces Jail Population

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The Hinds County Board of Supervisors is extending its COVID-19 state of emergency for non-essential employees until May 1, waiving penalties for overdue, late and new license plates, and taking additional steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among its employees and detainees in county jails.

State

April 18: MDHS Reports 181 New COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths

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Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 181 new cases of COVID-19 for the period ending Friday, March 17, at 6:00 p.m. Twelve people died on Friday from the virus.

Politics

Tate Reeves: Shelter in Place Another Week, ‘Union Bosses’ Not Needed

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Gov. Tate Reeves extended the shelter-in-place order he issued at the end of March for another week today, while making allowances for limited operations at “non-essential” businesses and opening the state’s beaches and lakes starting Monday.

Politics

Shelter Order Set to Expire Monday; State Reports 3,624 Cases of COVID-19

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Mississippi has 264 new cases of COVID-19 today, after 273 yesterday, bringing the statewide total to 3,624 only two days after the state announced its 3,000th case.

City & County

Mayor Lumumba Extends COVID-19 'Stay-at-Home' until April 30th

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued an executive order on April 16, 2020, continuing his previous order of March 31, 2020 until April 30, 2020.

Business

With No Relief In Sight, Jackson Small Business Owners Struggle

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The COVID-19 pandemic has hit small businesses, which typically do not have more than two weeks’ worth of working capital funds at any given time, especially hard in recent weeks.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE: Gov. Tate Reeves Has Failed the COVID-19 Leadership Test

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Tate Reeves’ leadership logic says it’s OK to endanger people’s lives to keep churches and guns stores open using a constitutional excuse, but then ignore constitutional precedent on a procedure Mississippi women have the legal right to choose.

Executive Order 1466: Statewide Shelter-In-Place

Signed version of Executive Order 1466

OPINION: Teenagers, It’s OK to Feel Hurt By What We’ve Lost to COVID-19

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"Too often, adults undermine and discredit the hurt feelings of my age group simply because we haven’t lived long enough or worked hard enough to afford to feel the way that we do."

Education

Gov. Tate Reeves Announces Extended School Closures to Slow the Spread of COVID-19

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced that schools in Mississippi will remain closed for the rest of the school year to slow the spread of COVID-19.

State

State Tops 3,000 COVID-19 Cases and 100 Deaths, More Race Data Soon

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Mississippi saw 145 new cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, bringing the new statewide total to 3,087, only seven days after the 2,000th detection on April 7.

Crime

County Jail Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19

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A Hinds County Detention Center corrections officer has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday.

Business

Payment Protection Program: A Lifeline to Mississippi Small Businesses During COVID-19

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Many Mississippi small businesses and their employees are currently wondering how they are going to weather the economic downturn the coronavirus has caused. A new law could help.

State

COVID-19 Affects Black Mississippians Disproportionately; MDOC Workers Test Positive

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Two employees of the Mississippi Department of Corrections have tested positive for COVID-19, and a prisoner is awaiting the results of a test for the novel coronavirus, Gov. Tate Reeves said at a press event April 6.

State

April 13: COVID-19 Deaths in Mississippi Climb to 98 with 2,942 Official Cases

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Cases of the novel coronavirus in Mississippi stand at 2,942 just after the Easter holiday. The Mississippi State Department of Health announced 161 new cases and two deaths as of 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, along with six deaths, bringing the statewide death count to 98.

State

Mississippi Nearing 100 Virus Deaths, More Cases Confirmed

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Many Mississippi churches held online services Sunday to celebrate Easter and to help people maintain distance from one another to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus as the state's death toll from COVID-19 approaches 100.

Health Care

April 11 Update: 173 new COVID-19 Cases, 11 Deaths in Mississippi

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MDAH today has reported 173 new cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 detected in Mississippi as of 6 p.m. Friday; 11 more deaths have been reported.

Abortion

OPINION: Abortion is Essential, Especially Now During COVID-19 Crisis

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In a disingenuous move, politicians in Mississippi and several other southern states have sought to classify abortion as “non-essential,” attempting to make access difficult if not impossible.

Abortion

Governor Attempts to Ban Mississippi Abortions, Citing Need to Preserve PPE

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Gov. Tate Reeves says he is halting abortions in Mississippi to help free up personal protective equipment for hospitals to use as they deal with an escalating number of COVID-19 cases statewide.

Politics

Governor Tate Reeves Issues Executive Orders to Protect Healthcare Professionals

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed two new executive orders to protect healthcare professionals from transmission and liability as they aid in Mississippi's response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

State

209 New Cases of COVID-19, 6 New Deaths

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Cases of the novel coronavirus in Mississippi are now at 2,469, as Gov. Tate Reeves’ statewide shelter-at-home order nears its midpoint.

Business

'When Is the $600 Coming?': Mississippi Unemployment Questions Answered

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As COVID-19 crashes the Mississippi economy and unemployment skyrockets, a lot of people are scared. We know, because you've been sending the Jackson Free Press questions by email, online chat and social media.

City & County

Mayor Lumumba: Jackson Police Will Enforce Strong Stay-at-Home Order

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba stood before reporters in front of City Hall to both get tough with violators of his first executive order and to announce a detailed lockdown of the capital city, except for businesses and operations deemed essential, ahead of a state-wide lockdown.

Politics

257 New COVID-19 Cases in Mississippi, Easter Services 'Voluntary’ Under Order

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Mississippi saw a record 257 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the official statewide total to 2,260, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced this morning.

State

Black Mississippians Suffered 72% of COVID-19 Deaths; Many Tests Don’t Track Race

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More than half of all Mississippians currently diagnosed with COVID-19 and nearly three-fourths of the virus’ current casualties are African American, the Mississippi State Department of Health revealed today.

City & County

Lumumba: More COVID-19 Tests, Hazard Pay, Hotels for Infected Residents

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The City of Jackson is purchasing 6,000 additional COVID-19 tests for use on first responders and local jail inmates, providing hazard pay to first responders and partnering with a local hotel to offer shelter to people who are infected.

City & County

DIY: Cloth Face Mask

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This do-it-yourself will show you how to make your own cloth face mask.

City & County

DIY: Three-Ingredient Disposable Face Mask

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This do-it-yourself will show you how to make a disposable (single use) face mask out of a few items that you likely already have around the house.

Health Care

April 6: State Shares More Testing Data, Reports 100 New COVID-19 Cases, 8 Deaths

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Cases of the novel coronavirus in Mississippi are now at 1,738 as the first full week of shelter-at-home begins statewide, with the Mississippi State Department of Health announcing a steady increase of 100 new cases since yesterday.

State

April 5 Update: COVID-19 Cases up 183 to 1,638 Statewide

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The Mississippi State Department of Health recorded 183 new cases of COVID-19 between 6 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday, the single largest one-day total. In that same time, eight more people have died from the virus.

Health Care

Tippah and Jackson Counties are Upcoming Sites for One-Day Drive-Through Covid-19 Testing

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JACKSON, Miss. – One-day mobile collections for COVID-19 testing specimens are continuing this weekend and into early next week, with the University of Mississippi Medical Center, Mississippi State Department of Health, Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi National Guard leading operations.

City & County

Millsaps College Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

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A Millsaps College employee has tested positive for novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. That individual received the positive test on April 3, 2020 and is in self-isolation under medical supervision.

State

April 4 Update: COVID-19 Deaths in Mississippi Rise to 35, Could Reach 1,000

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Confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 1,455 today, with the Mississippi State Department of Health adding 97 more infected people to its official tally. It also added six more deaths since yesterday, bringing the total to 35, with the state health officer warning Friday that the state may see 1,000 fatalities due to the virus.

Politics

COVID-19 Curve Still Rising in Mississippi With 181 New Cases, 3 Deaths

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Mississippi saw its biggest increase in novel coronavirus cases in a single 24-hour period today with 181 new cases and 3 deaths for a total. The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 1,358 Mississippians diagnosed with COVID-19 as of April 2.

State

Mississippi Withholds Some Health Prep Info About Virus, Including Ventilators

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Mississippi residents are unlikely to find out how many ventilators are available in the state to respond to the coronavirus pandemic because the Health Department is withholding that information.

State

Governor Does About-Face, Issues Statewide ‘Shelter In Place’ For Mississippi

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In an overnight about-face, Gov. Tate Reeves signed a long-awaited executive order today closing non-essential businesses and directing all Mississippians to shelter at home between Friday, April 3, and Monday, April 20, to help lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Politics

OPINION: Suspending Housing Costs is a Moral and Economic Imperative

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University of Mississippi sociology professor and columnist James M. Thomas writes that Gov. Tate Reeves should do far more to help allay housing costs as workers are forced to stay home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

State

BREAKING: Governor Reeves Issues 'Shelter-in-Place' Order Effective Friday at 5 p.m.

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JACKSON — Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed a new executive order establishing a statewide shelter-in-place for Mississippi to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of all who call our state home.

City & County

Cheat Sheet for Mayor Lumumba's 'Stay at Home' Executive Order to Combat COVID-19

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To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in the City of Jackson, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued a Stay at Home Order, effective April 3, 2020, directing all Jackson residents to stay at home and limit movements outside of their homes beyond essential needs.

Politics

Reeves to Issue Shelter-in-Place as COVID-19 Cases Swell to 1,073 in Mississippi

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Gov. Tate Reeves is expected to become one of the last governors in the U.S. to issue a statewide shelter-at-home order for the next two weeks after a reassessment of the current piecemeal lockdown strategy.

City & County

Mayoral Proclamation of Executive Order Requiring Individuals to Stay at Home and Practice Social Distancing Requirements

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba released an executive order requiring individuals to stay at home and practice social distancing requirements.

Politics

COVID-19: Can Mississippi Imitate South Korea?

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As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, the primary fear of observers worldwide is the threat of collapse of the health-care system. More severe infections than a state’s intensive-care units have the capacity to treat will dramatically increase the risk of death.

Crime

Local Jails, Prisons a Petri Dish for COVID-19?

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Prisoner advocates describe the COVID-19 situation as a ticking time bomb in Mississippi, where 19,000 people are serving sentences behind state prison bars and 5,200 people languish for months or years in county jails

Politics

Governor Orders ‘Shelter In Place’ For Lauderdale as Virus Affects 76 Counties

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Largely due to rapid localized spread of COVID-19 over several days, Gov. Tate Reeves signed an executive order today laying down a shelter-in-place order for Lauderdale County, which includes the city of Meridian, “and each and every one of the municipalities therein,” the governor said.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE: A Silver Lining to the COVID-19 Crisis

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"Be present in your feelings right now and take time to look within and unpack when you’re ready. It’s perfectly OK to slow down and not give into the perpetual pressure of always working to be better."

Cover

What is Social Distancing?

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Social distancing is more than just a single action. It is a different way of living. El distanciamiento social es mucho más que una acción: Es una manera diferente de vivir.

Cover

COVID-19 Testing Centers

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The Jackson Free Press has gathered a listing of COVID-19 Testing Centers.

Cover

CDC Recommended Guidelines to Stay Safe During COVID-19 Crisis

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With COVID-19 continuing to run rampant in our state and in our country, the Centers for Disease Control has issued recommendations for preventative measures people can take to keep themselves and others as safe and as healthy as possible.

Cover

JXN MS Mobile Meals Dispatch

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The Jackson COVID-19 Community Food and Aid Coalition is a collaboration of local groups that formed a food dispatch and delivery service to support the most vulnerable residents in Jackson, including elders and children, by supplying weekly food supplies during this quarantine period.

Cover

Tackling Food Insecurity in the Capital City

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While we are collectively concerned over what COVID-19 means for the immediate future, locally and globally, Jacksonians with surrounding businesses and organizations are standing together, working hard and endeavoring to make sure no child or family in need goes hungry.

Business

Filing for Unemployment Benefits

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The Mississippi Department of Employee Security has modified its existing unemployment compensation rules, allowing Mississippi workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 to be eligible to file for unemployment benefits.

Cover

Online Streaming Events

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Some organizations and individuals have started hosting online events to help give people some fun and social reprieve even whilst taking refuge at home.

OPINION: Amid COVID-19 Crisis, U.S. Must Heal All the Wounds that Got Us Here

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As the U.S. reels from the effects of COVID-19, we are faced with a stark reality: We were desperately and woefully unprepared for a crisis.

City & County

Mayor Warns Businesses Violating Orders, Calls for Consistent Statewide, National Policies

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Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba talked tough Monday to people and businesses violating his executive orders in the capital city, and calling for more consistent statewide and national orders.

Business

Fallout of Tate Reeves’ Executive Order: Department Store Roulette, Scared Associates

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The concrete shopping jungle known as Dogwood Festival Market looked as much like a ghost town as it could as the sun started to set on a warm spring Saturday afternoon.

Politics

Monday, March 30: 847 Detected Cases of COVID-19 in State, Total Tested Roughly 8,000

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The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 89 new cases of COVID-19 across the state today, up to 847 from 758 yesterday.

MABUS: Gov. Reeves Must Immediately Invoke Statewide Shelter-in-Place Order

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COVID19 is not a hoax. It doesn’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican or if you live in China or Italy or Mississippi.

City & County

OPINION: Coronavirus Is Not an Excuse to Drop Church-State Separation

I'm for praying. I'm not a church guy and I'm not a wear-religion-on-my-sleeve guy. Sundays are my own (when I'm not writing opinion pieces) and a lot of my spiritual practice is spent in meditation and mindfulness. But I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, and when I pray, I pray in Jesus' name.

Health Care

Sunday, March 29: MSDH Reports 95 New COVID-19 Cases, 1 New Death, Up to 74 Counties

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The MSDH added 95 reported cases of COVID-19 for a new total of 758 in Mississippi. New counties reporting cases are Carroll, Claiborne and Warren, bringing to the total number of counties reporting cases to 74 of 82.

Health Care

MSDH Announces 'South Korea' Strategy, Governor Clarifies Executive Order

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The time for playing defense against COVID-19 is over, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs declared Thursday in front of the governor’s mansion in downtown Jackson.

National

Trump Adds 30 Days to Distancing Guidelines, Gives Up on 'Reopening' By Easter

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President Donald Trump is extending the voluntary national shutdown for a month as sickness and death from the coronavirus pandemic rise in the U.S.

State

Saturday, March 28: COVID-19 Cases in 71 Mississippi Counties, Total 663 with 13 Deaths

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Today’s coronavirus numbers are in for Mississippi, leaving very few counties on the map in white, denoting which of our 82 counties do not yet have an official confirmed case. Today, MSDH added 84 cases to bring the total to 663 with 13 deaths. Of 82 counties, 71 now are reporting at least one case of COVID-19.

City & County

City's COVID-19 Limits on Groups, Restaurants Remain; $40 Million Bond Vote Ahead

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Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba reiterated to Jackson residents Thursday that the City of Jackson’s ban on gatherings of 10 or more people and limitations on local restaurant operations, as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, are still in place.

City & County

JPD Officer Tests Positive for COVID-19; No More Jail for Misdemeanors

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A Jackson Police Department officer has tested positive for COVID-19, Police Chief James E. Davis confirmed in a press conference today, where he also announced more safety protocols.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Gov. Reeves Needs to Take ‘Essential’ Seriously for COVID-19 Social Distancing

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What (Gov. Tate) Reeves still has not done, is follow the lead of states near and far by truly ordering only essential businesses and services to remain open. What Reeves did instead this past Tuesday has been a bona fide mess.

State

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

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NRAEF set up the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help restaurant industry employees experiencing hardship in the wake of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

Health Care

108 New Cases of COVID-19, Largest Increase So Far

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As controversy swirls in Mississippi over Gov. Tate Reeves’ refusal to issue a “Shelter in Place” order, the state has 108 additional cases of COVID-19 as of yesterday, March 25, at 6 p.m.

State

Mississippi Jobless Claims Tough to File as Virus Ups Demand

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The Mississippi agency that handles claims for jobless benefits is getting 10 times the usual number of phone calls as people seek help amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Health Care

UMMC Begins In-House Testing for COVID-19

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The University of Mississippi Medical Center began performing in-house testing for COVID-19 Thursday, providing a major boost in the state’s ability to manage the pandemic.

Crime

Dr. Yusef Salaam of ‘Exonerated 5’: Jails, Prisons ‘Petri Dish’ for COVID-19

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Living under unusual, high-pressure circumstances and without access to adequate health care or nutrition has forced the nation’s prisoners to cultivate a kind of secret knowledge that others on the outside might not possess.

Health Care

UPDATE: Four Mississippi Men, One Woman Die from COVID-19 as State Cases Rise to 377

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Men from Holmes, Webster and Wilkinson counties and a woman from Tunica county are the second, third, fourth and fifth person to die from the coronavirus in the state, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced today.

State

Governor Orders Limited Gatherings, Declares Most Businesses 'Essential,' Supersedes Local Safety Efforts

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Gov. Tate Reeves signed an executive order early this evening expanding the bans on large public gatherings in Mississippi, while declaring most types of businesses “essential” and, thus, exempt from its provisions.

State

Gov. Tate Reeves Signs New Executive Order in Response to COVID-19 Spread

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed a new executive order to further ramp up the state's efforts to protect the health of Mississippians during the outbreak of COVID-19.

Health Care

Governor: Wait-and-See on State Lockdown Despite 71 New COVID-19 Cases

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Gov. Tate Reeves again rejected calls for a statewide lockdown at a press conference outside the governor’s mansion today in downtown Jackson, saying that “no expert had yet recommended” such an enforced quarantine.

Health Care

Rep. Palazzo: Rural Hospitals ‘On Brink’ of ‘Collapse,’ Need Relief Amid Pandemic

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Congress must assist rural hospitals in its upcoming bill aimed at blunting the economic devastation the coronavirus has wrought, Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo wrote in a letter to top U.S. House leaders on Tuesday.

State

Governor Rejects State Lockdown For COVID-19: ‘Mississippi's Never Going to Be China’

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Gov. Tate Reeves rejected calls today for a statewide shelter-at-home order, a measure of caution against the spread of COVID-19 being rapidly deployed next door in Louisiana, elsewhere in the United States and across the globe.

Politics

Governor Under Fire as COVID-19 Spreads, Testing Begins at Fairgrounds

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The Mississippi State Department of Health begins drive-thru testing today at the Mississippi State Fairgrounds, in partnership with the University of Mississippi Medical Center and wireless provider C-Spire.

Health Care

MSDH: List of COVID-19 Testing Centers Throughout Mississippi

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The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) will now be keeping an active list of local COVID-19 testing sites throughout the state.

State

Up 159% Up Since Friday, Mississippi COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise, Spread

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This weekend just saw its second huge spike in coronavirus cases in Mississippi, continuing to spread throughout the state and jumping to 207 cases today from a total of 140 Saturday and 80 on Friday.

State

Saturday, March 22: 60 New COVID-19 Cases in Mississippi, Spread Across Age Groups

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The Mississippi State Department of Health announced 60 new cases of COVID-19 this morning, March 21, bringing the statewide total to 140. The cases are mostly women and spread across adult age brackets.

City & County

More COVID-19 Testing Sites, Public and Private, Available in Jackson Area

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Mississippians will have access to a central COVID-19 testing location at the State Fairgrounds in Jackson starting Monday.

City & County

How Local Businesses are Handling COVID-19

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The COVID-19 outbreak is causing mass temporary closures of local businesses across the spectrum. Fortunately, plenty of those businesses have stepped up to help their employees and their communities in their own ways.

State

5 Ways To Support Your Salon During Uncertain Times

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COVID-19 is having a global impact on our daily lives, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that businesses are really starting to take a hit, particularly the service industry.

City & County

JPD Will Not Change Arrest Policy Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

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The Jackson Police Department is not making changes to its arrest protocols in the wake of COVID-19, even as other departments across the country are rethinking their own policing strategies in order to mitigate the spread of the infection at precincts and in overcrowded jails.

Food

MSDH: Restaurants, Bars Should 'Suspend Dine-In Service,' Everyone Should Skip Church, Weddings, Funerals

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The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) now recommends that all restaurants and bars suspend dine-in service in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, effective immediately. This decision is consistent with the social distancing principles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in line with actions taken by other states.

Health Care

Rankin, 10 Other Counties Join List of 80 Cases of COVID-19 in State, One Dead

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This morning, The Mississippi State Department of Health added 30 new cases to its daily roster of COVID-19 cases in the state, considered “presumptive” until the Centers for Disease Control confirms the positive tests.

Politics

Mississippi is Latest State to Delay Elections Amid Pandemic

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Friday that he is postponing the March 31 Republican primary runoff in the state's 2nd Congressional District because of the coronavirus. The new date is June 23.

State

MSDH News: Health Officials Confirm First Coronavirus Death in Mississippi

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Today the Mississippi State Department of Health reports the first death from coronavirus in Mississippi. The case was a male 60-65 years old from Hancock County with chronic underlying conditions.

Health Care

50 COVID-19 Cases Now as UMMC Works to Develop Own Test for 'Tidal Wave' Virus

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“We are ramping up all of our contingency planning to be prepared for a tidal wave of patients that we know is about to hit us,” UMMC Department of Emergency Chairman Dr. Alan Jones warned.

Cover

COVID-19 in Mississippi, Indepth: A Primer

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COVID-19 is here. And as the United States virtually shuts down amid fears of an overwhelmed health-care system and an unchecked pandemic, understanding the virus, its history, and how to mitigate its effects becomes an issue of national and local importance.

State

SBA Includes Warren County in Declaration of Disaster for the Region

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The Vicksburg Warren Chamber of Commerce announced today that Warren County was included in a Declaration of Disaster authorized by the Small Business Administration for the State of Louisiana.

State

UMMC Experts Offer Advice on Dealing with COVID-19 Stressors

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Take a step back and focus on what’s in your power, not what isn’t, experts at the University of Mississippi Medical Center say.

OPINION: Message from a COVID-19 Reporter: We Need Patience, Discipline, Fortitude

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Jackson Free Press reporter Nick Judin, who is reporting the seriousness of the growing coronavirus epidemic, warns to not take this moment in history for granted.

Crime

Hinds, D.A. Evaluating Release of Some Pretrial Detainees Due to COVID-19

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country and globe, advocates warn of the unique health risks the easily contracted virus poses for the 19,000 people serving sentences inside Mississippi state prisons and the more than 5,200 people locked up and awaiting trial in county jails.

City & County

Mayoral Proclamation of Executive Order Prohibiting Gatherings of More Than 10 People

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Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba has issued an executive order banning gatherings of more than 10 people in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Politics

Governor Tate Reeves Requests Economic Disaster Declaration for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

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Yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves requested a disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to aid small businesses and their employees being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Education

Mississippi Schools Closed Until Mid-April to Slow Virus

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Mississippi public schools will be closed until at least April 17 to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday.

State

Delta, North Mississippi Hit Hardest by 13 New Presumptive COVID-19 Cases

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The Mississippi Department of Health announced 13 new presumptive cases of the novel coronavirus this morning with cases in several Delta counties up to Desoto County in north Mississippi. No new Hinds cases showed up today—it is still at six—but nearby Madison County joined the list.

State

10 Tips for Keeping Your Family Happy and Healthy During Coronavirus Isolation

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With the outbreak of COVID-19, it's a stressful time for parents and kids, but there are things you as a parent can do to make this time more safe, emotionally stable, and fun for kids and even yourself.

Publisher's Note

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Flatten The Curve, Think Local in Wake of COVID-19

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The Jackson Free Press team has done its damnedest to bring you the latest news on COVID-19 as it breaks here in the Jackson and throughout the state, as well as vital safety information.

Food

Jackson Restaurants Offering Curbside Service

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In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, a lot of restaurants and businesses in Jackson and throughout Mississippi have temporarily closed down. The following restaurants are still open and offering curbside takeout service to customers.

State

Mississippi COVID-19 Cases Rise to 21 with 6 in Hinds, National Guard Activated

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The day after Gov. Tate Reeves activated the National Guard to help, the number of officially confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Mississippi rose to 21 on the Mississippi State Department of Health's website.

City & County

JPS Begins Food Distribution Programs for JPS Scholars and Families

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Jackson Public Schools and the Mississippi Food Network will administer two feeding programs in support of our scholars and their families during extended school closures.

State

Mississippi Community Response and Recovery Fund

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The Mississippi Community Relief and Recovery Fund supports the immediate and long-term needs of communities and organizations working on responding to emerging and extraordinary events, including COVID-19. All tax-deductible donations to the fund will support people and communities in Mississippi.

City & County

City Responds to COVID-19 with Emergency Measures, Scales Back Operations

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Today, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba declared a state of civil emergency in the City of Jackson due to the coronavirus outbreak, signing additional executive orders to limit the number of people in a gathering and shutter some municipal buildings.

Fly

COVID-19 Brings Parade to Screeching Halt

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Since COVID-19 made its way to the continental United States, the virus has forced organizations to cancel or postpone events that have been embedded into the lives of citizens.

State

MDE Secures Waivers to Expedite Approvals of School Meal Programs

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The Mississippi Department of Education's Office of Child Nutrition has secured two waivers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist school districts in establishing meal programs at this time.

Education

Mississippi Shutting Down as COVID-19 Reaches Jackson, Coast, Rural Areas

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The confirmed arrival of COVID-19 in Jackson follows a weekend of growing restrictions on movement and public gatherings nationwide.

Politics

Governor Tate Reeves Signs Executive Orders Furthering Mississippi's COVID-19 Response

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Today, Governor Tate Reeves signed two executive orders to further the state's response to COVID-19 and aid Mississippians being impacted.

Editor's Note

EDITOR'S LETTER: Keep Calm, Stay Safe and Flatten the Curve

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"Flattening the curve" matters. We can all help limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in our own communities by social distancing, avoiding groups and staying home as much as possible. Do it.

Education

State Education Superintendent Recommends Suspending State Test Due to COVID-19

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The Mississippi Department of Education is providing this update on the impact of school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Politics

Legislative Democrats Call for Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Measures and Suspension of Legislative Session

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Legislative Democrats including the Mississippi House and Senate Democratic Caucuses along with the Mississippi Legislative Black Caucus encourage the Governor, Speaker of the House and Lt. Governor to spend this week working with us on a host of bipartisan emergency measures that tackle two immediate concerns.

Biz Roundup

Biz Update: COVID-19 Task Force, What's Still Open and Meal Drop-off Coalition

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As locally owned businesses face unprecedented threats from the coronavirus, Fondren Renaissance Foundation President Roy Campbell has assembled a task force to make recommendations and decide best practices to keep residents and the business community healthy.

City & County

Mayor Lumumba to Declare Civil Emergency Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

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On Tuesday, March 17, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba will sign three executive orders in a direct effort to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

State

Mississippi Blood Services Experiencing Blood Shortage

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As the Coronavirus outbreak continues, Mississippi Blood Services has been forced to cancel numerous blood drives resulting in a blood shortage.

State

Mississippi State of Emergency Declaration

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves' office released a state of emergency declaration on the COVID-19 outbreak.

City & County

Mobile Meal Dispatch and Drop-off Services for Jackson Families in Need During COVID-19 Outbreak

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Multiple organizations are collaborating to provide mobile meal dispatch and drop-off services for Jackson families in need. Meals will cover breakfast and dinner for families throughout the extended break.

State

PSC Suspends Utility Disconnects in Mississippi During State of Emergency

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The Public Service Commission's restriction on utility disconnects is in place for 60 days. It does not eliminate the requirement that utility customers continue to pay bills, according to a press release.

City & County

URGENT: Two Hinds County Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed Today, 10 Total in State

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The Mississippi State Department of Health <added four new confirmed cases of the coronavirus to its website this morning—two of them in the Jackson metro area of Hinds County

City & County

Jackson State Student Tests Positive for Coronavirus

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A Jackson State University student has tested positive for COVID-19. The student is currently isolated at home.

City & County

State Says COVID-19 Tests Available, But Confusion Among Local Providers

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Clinics and hospitals in the Jackson metro demurred on March 13 when the Jackson Free Press called seeking COVID-19 testing

State

Two Mississippi Congressmen Skip Vote on COVID-19 Emergency Response Bill

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Two Republican Mississippi Congressmen, U.S. Reps. Steven Palazzo and Trent Kelly, did not show up for a vote on the #FamiliesFirst Coronavirus Response Act.

Health Care

UMMC to Restrict Patient Visitation to Curb Spread of COVID-19

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Effective Monday at noon, the University of Mississippi Medical Center will restrict visitors at its Jackson-based hospitals in an effort to lessen the spread of the novel coronavirus and help ensure the safety of patients, visitors, employees and students.

State

'Do Not Go to Church': Three Forrest County Coronavirus Cases Bring Warnings

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The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed two more cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, in Mississippi this morning. All three known patients currently reside in Forrest County.

State

Statement About Impact of Coronavirus on Hinds County School District Operations

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"We have shared guidance will each of our school administrators that include detailed steps to promote a healthy school environment, and all of our parents have been sent a letter that provides information on ways they can help us prevent the spread of viruses."

City & County

COVID-19 Task Force Will Monitor Virus in Jackson, Decide School Closings

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The capital city will have its own COVID-19 task force composed of city officials, public-health experts as well as institutional partners in the capital city's health-care system, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced at a press conference in City Hall this afternoon.

State

State on COVID-19 in Mississippi: Get Tested if Show Flu-Like Symptoms

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Public health officials announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Mississippi as the disease is declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. State leadership called for extraordinary caution for all residents, and laid out proper procedures for seeking testing.

State

EXPLAINER: COVID-19 in Mississippi: What to Do, What to Avoid

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The Mississippi Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are releasing information about the Coronavirus pandemic—and tips for avoiding—as a Forrest County man becomes the first known case here.

State

Build Your Emergency Supply Kit for COVID-19

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"MEMA is assisting the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) in its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will help coordinate any additional resources MSDH may have during their planning, response and recovery stages."

City & County

Mississippi Event Cancellations Due to COVID-19 (Regularly Updated)

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Officials in Jackson and across Mississippi are canceling major events and gatherings in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The following is a list of canceled events as the Jackson Free Press learns of them.

City & County

Hal's St. Paddy's Parade Cancelled in Effort to Fight Coronavirus Spread

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The Hal's St. Paddy's Parade and Festival in Jackson has been cancelled in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, parade co-founder Malcolm White told local news outlets Wednesday.