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Mississippi legislators to consider virus aid to businesses

Mississippi State Capitol in Jackson

Mississippi legislators are returning Thursday to consider help for businesses that have been hurt by the coronavirus outbreak.

Posted: May 5, 2020 3:10 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — 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.

It will be the second time in less than a week for legislators to return to the Capitol after putting their session on hold in mid-March because of the pandemic. They passed a bill Friday that would give the Legislature control over spending $1.25 billion that Mississippi is receiving from the federal government as part of a massive coronavirus relief package.

Republican Gov. Tate Reeves has called that bill a power grab by the Republican-majority Legislature, saying that he is best positioned to act quickly to spend the federal money as needs arise.

"The backbone of our economy in Mississippi is our small businesses, and now they need our support,” Speaker of the House Philip Gunn, a Republican from Clinton, said in news release Tuesday.

Gunn said the House and Senate “will act together to provide relief as quickly as possible this week,” although the statement did not provide details of a plan.

Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said in the statement that legislators represent the whole state.

“We know Mississippi’s small businesses — our local restaurants, barber shops, hair salons, and retail shops — need help," Hosemann said.

The state Health Department said Tuesday that Mississippi had at least 8,207 confirmed cases and 342 deaths from the coronavirus as of Monday evening. That was an increase of 330 cases and 32 deaths from the previous day. Mississippi’s population is about 3 million.

The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

The Health Department said Tuesday that more than 80,300 coronavirus tests had been done in Mississippi as of Monday. The department said at least 965 cases of the virus had been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 125 deaths from it in those facilities.

The governor’s “safer at home” order started April 27, replacing a stricter stay-at-home order that was in place for more than three weeks. The new order remains in effect until Monday morning. It has allowed some to reopen with limits on how many customers may be present. It also allows physicians to start offering some services that had been limited in recent weeks.

Barbershops, salons, tattoo parlors and entertainment venues such as movie theaters remain closed.

Reeves is easing some restrictions on restaurants and outdoor gatherings, beginning Thursday. Restaurants will be allowed to open their indoor dining rooms and outdoor seating areas with masks on servers and limits on the number of customers. Outdoor gatherings such as youth sports practices may have up to 20 people, an increase from the current limit of 10.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
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