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Governor: Mississippi schools remain closed rest of semester

Gov. Tate Reeves said public school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the spring semester.

Posted: Apr 14, 2020 5:13 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday that public school buildings will remain closed the rest of the semester to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, but he wants schools to continue distance-learning efforts.

Reeves also said some school districts should look at an option of offering summer classes.

He praised teachers, administrators and parents, saying that he thinks most students have continued to take some classes online or through other efforts. He also thanked school bus drivers who have delivered meals and packets of school work to children in parts of the state.

But, referring to the recent school closures, Reeves said: “This hasn’t hit all students equally.”

He acknowledged that some parts of the state lack strong internet access and some residents don't have access to computers.

Reeves, a Republican, issued an order March 19 for public schools to close through this Friday. Many schools have semesters that end in mid-May. He said Tuesday that he consulted health experts before making the decision on extending the closure order.

Reeves also said Tuesday that he is appointing some of the state's “top business minds” to examine it might be safe for Mississippi to start reopening businesses that have closed because of the pandemic.

The state had at least 3,087 confirmed cases and 111 deaths from the virus as of Monday evening, according to numbers released Tuesday by the state Health Department. That was an increase of 145 cases and 13 deaths from the previous day. The state’s population is about 3 million.

The Health Department said cases have been confirmed in at least 60 long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

Reeves on Tuesday toured parts of south Mississippi that were struck by tornadoes Sunday. At least 12 people were killed and hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged in 30 of the state's 82 counties, according to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Reeves said the coronavirus remains “a real threat," and storm recovery adds to the state's problems.

Mississippi remains under the governor's statewide stay-at-home order until at least early next week. Many businesses are closed, and tens of thousands have applied for state unemployment benefits. Reeves said he'll continue to consult health experts about when a wide reopening of businesses might be safe.

“We not only have a public health crisis before us. We have an economic crisis before us, as well,” Reeves said. “It is incumbent upon all of us as leaders to do everything we can to get our economy back open as soon as possible and as soon as it is going to be allowable, given the public health challenges that exist.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 314509

Reported Deaths: 7247
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21626259
Hinds20359415
Harrison17934309
Rankin13634278
Jackson13447246
Madison10099217
Lee9980174
Jones8381163
Forrest7683152
Lauderdale7191241
Lowndes6401147
Lamar623086
Lafayette6200118
Washington5339134
Bolivar4802132
Oktibbeha462798
Panola4588107
Pearl River4512146
Marshall4443103
Warren4393121
Pontotoc420772
Monroe4113133
Union411076
Neshoba4031176
Lincoln3968110
Hancock379386
Leflore3497125
Sunflower336090
Tate334084
Pike3325105
Scott315973
Alcorn313368
Yazoo311669
Itawamba300477
Copiah297065
Coahoma295479
Simpson295288
Tippah288768
Adams286882
Prentiss279760
Marion269280
Leake268373
Wayne262641
Grenada261487
Covington259681
George248048
Newton246861
Winston227281
Tishomingo226967
Jasper221148
Attala214473
Chickasaw207857
Holmes189173
Clay185454
Stone182833
Tallahatchie178841
Clarke178080
Calhoun170832
Yalobusha164338
Smith162434
Walthall133945
Greene130633
Lawrence128624
Montgomery126942
Noxubee126734
Perry126338
Amite123142
Carroll121829
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis107133
Tunica105726
Claiborne102430
Benton99525
Humphreys96733
Kemper95828
Franklin83823
Quitman80916
Choctaw76418
Wilkinson67331
Jefferson65728
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 532895

Reported Deaths: 11001
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson771431528
Mobile41089808
Madison34837505
Tuscaloosa25810454
Montgomery24355588
Shelby23730249
Baldwin21191309
Lee15892171
Calhoun14522316
Morgan14324279
Etowah13861353
Marshall12250223
Houston10581281
Elmore10060205
Limestone9986151
Cullman9705194
St. Clair9702243
Lauderdale9441242
DeKalb8846187
Talladega8255176
Walker7246277
Autauga6938108
Jackson6815112
Blount6694137
Colbert6310134
Coffee5524119
Dale4850111
Russell443238
Chilton4308112
Franklin426282
Covington4136118
Tallapoosa4039152
Escambia393977
Chambers3578123
Dallas3557152
Clarke351161
Marion3130101
Pike311377
Lawrence300798
Winston275673
Bibb261564
Geneva251477
Marengo249664
Pickens234761
Barbour231756
Hale223277
Butler216469
Fayette212562
Henry189044
Cherokee184745
Randolph181742
Monroe178040
Washington167639
Macon159950
Clay156857
Crenshaw152757
Cleburne149141
Lamar142935
Lowndes139053
Wilcox127130
Bullock122841
Conecuh110629
Coosa107928
Perry107826
Sumter104832
Greene92534
Choctaw61124
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Columbus
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Skies remain clear as we wrap up the work week, which will lead us into an excellent weekend in terms of weather. Low humidity will keep temperatures cool or chilly in the mornings and much warmer each afternoon. Humidity gradually returns later in the weekend and early next week.
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