Mississippi beginning statewide stay-home order amid virus

A statewide stay-at-home order was taking effect Friday evening in Mississippi to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

Posted: Apr 3, 2020 4:49 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A statewide stay-at-home order was taking effect Friday evening in Mississippi to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus as the state's caseload continues to grow.

Hours before the order began, a judge in north Mississippi directed landlords to restore utility services they had cut off, so tenants can continue living in their rented homes.

The Mississippi Center for Justice sued on behalf of Lee County residents living in homes where the landlord pays for utilities. The lawsuit called the landlords' utility cut-offs a form of eviction “undertaken in bad faith.” The state Public Service Commission has temporarily banned utility companies from turning off service for nonpayment of bills. And evictions are banned under Gov. Tate Reeves's stay-home order, which remains in place until April 20.

“Landlords may not subvert the intent of the order of the Governor and the Public Service Commission by engaging in these tactics during this time of crisis in this nation," Chancery Judge Michael Malski wrote.

The center filed suit at the request of northern district Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

“It's a shame and a disgrace that we've got to spend time during a pandemic seeking temporary restraining orders from chancery judges,” Presley told The Associated Press on Friday. He said utilities were restored for the people who sued, and he does not know how widespread such problems are in the state.

The state Health Department on Friday said Mississippi’s has at least 1,358 confirmed coronavirus cases and 29 deaths. The state has about 3 million residents.

Many people moving around their communities may not know they have contracted the virus until well after they’ve infected others. Most infected people experience mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks, but a fraction suffering more severe illnesses can require ventilators to survive, and as the caseload rapidly grows, hospitals are bracing for a wave of patients.

The Health Department said Friday that the virus has been found in at least 28 nursing homes, but it is not releasing the names of the homes. The state health officer, Dr. Thomas Dobbs, has said people who work in the homes or have loved ones there are being notified.

Reeves announced Friday that he has asked President Donald Trump to issue a major disaster declaration for Mississippi because of the coronavirus, which would make additional aid available. Declarations have already been issued for some states and are expected to be issued for all.

Reeves announced Wednesday that he is ordering people statewide to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus. Reeves said the order is designed to prevent Mississippi’s health care system from becoming overwhelmed.

The governor said Thursday that gun stores are considered essential businesses and will be allowed to remain open during his stay-home order. He said law enforcement officers have been told to break up groups of 10 or more people gathering in public spaces such as beaches. But Reeves also said people may still go fishing if they can maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from people who don’t live in their homes.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 320174

Reported Deaths: 7390
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22294271
Hinds20755424
Harrison18450317
Rankin13923282
Jackson13733249
Madison10273225
Lee10063176
Jones8473167
Forrest7837153
Lauderdale7263242
Lowndes6523150
Lamar636288
Lafayette6314121
Washington5427138
Bolivar4841133
Panola4671110
Oktibbeha466398
Pearl River4606148
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425973
Monroe4162136
Union415877
Neshoba4065180
Lincoln4009113
Hancock387687
Leflore3516125
Tate342586
Sunflower339491
Pike3373111
Alcorn327474
Scott320374
Yazoo314571
Adams308486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma299084
Simpson298689
Tippah292268
Prentiss284261
Leake272374
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264842
Grenada264087
George252451
Newton249064
Tishomingo232369
Winston230282
Jasper222148
Attala215173
Chickasaw210659
Holmes190574
Stone188733
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174232
Yalobusha167940
Smith164134
Walthall135447
Greene131834
Lawrence131224
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127538
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108334
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96729
Franklin85023
Quitman82316
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66328
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 549013

Reported Deaths: 11311
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810461571
Mobile42145831
Madison35718525
Tuscaloosa26179458
Shelby25626254
Montgomery25089614
Baldwin21901314
Lee16287176
Calhoun14724327
Morgan14639285
Etowah14183364
Marshall12454230
Houston10791287
Elmore10301214
Limestone10188157
St. Clair10161251
Cullman9958201
Lauderdale9612250
DeKalb8977190
Talladega8462184
Walker7341280
Autauga7242113
Jackson6953113
Blount6950139
Colbert6415140
Coffee5638127
Dale4930116
Russell454941
Chilton4478116
Franklin431782
Covington4279122
Tallapoosa4144155
Escambia401880
Chambers3728124
Dallas3610158
Clarke353161
Marion3245107
Pike314578
Lawrence3134100
Winston283572
Bibb268564
Geneva258481
Marengo250665
Pickens237062
Barbour234559
Hale227178
Butler224671
Fayette218962
Henry194443
Randolph187644
Cherokee187345
Monroe180641
Washington170739
Macon163051
Clay160159
Crenshaw156357
Cleburne153644
Lamar146937
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124542
Conecuh113630
Coosa111629
Perry108626
Sumter105832
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
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Hi: 86° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 84°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
83° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 85°
Oxford
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 82°
Starkville
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 81°
High pressure still tries to hang on to our area on Thursday, however a weak warm front will change the dominance of high pressure. This weak cold front will give us a chance for some isolated showers and thunderstorms at times.
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