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: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814025

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1140561910
Mobile722691323
Madison52017686
Shelby37304341
Baldwin37087540
Tuscaloosa34966599
Montgomery33971725
Lee23149240
Calhoun22159470
Morgan20659372
Etowah19764496
Marshall18254300
Houston17310405
St. Clair15921337
Cullman15325290
Limestone15222198
Elmore15086284
Lauderdale14157294
Talladega13723272
DeKalb12574259
Walker11089366
Blount10102174
Autauga9901146
Jackson9793180
Coffee9182189
Dale8864181
Colbert8791200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6743127
Covington6685179
Chilton6592160
Russell626158
Franklin5935105
Chambers5560142
Marion4958126
Dallas4889199
Clarke473482
Pike4720105
Geneva4564126
Winston4476101
Lawrence4266117
Bibb421786
Barbour355675
Marengo334089
Monroe330462
Randolph327663
Butler324894
Pickens313982
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300057
Fayette290979
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240767
Macon230762
Lamar217846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178838
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167738
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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Tupelo
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Columbus
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Fall like weather has dominated for the last few days, but a slight warming trend will eventually lead to increased rain chances, briefly, by mid-week.
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