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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.

Confirmed Cases: 92432

Reported Deaths: 2792
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6931154
DeSoto535455
Harrison370771
Jackson335867
Madison319086
Rankin316174
Lee256166
Jones237678
Forrest231769
Washington216371
Lafayette205039
Lauderdale1990124
Bolivar177565
Oktibbeha174149
Lamar157733
Neshoba1529103
Panola142426
Sunflower139643
Lowndes138957
Warren137250
Leflore135380
Pontotoc121216
Pike120448
Monroe118265
Scott115925
Copiah115733
Coahoma111227
Holmes108558
Marshall107115
Grenada105035
Lincoln104953
Yazoo103529
Simpson100742
Union97724
Tate95037
Leake93735
Adams90936
Wayne87121
Pearl River85150
Marion83633
Prentiss80317
Covington79622
Alcorn76311
Newton75022
Itawamba74621
Tallahatchie74518
George74013
Winston72019
Tishomingo65336
Chickasaw64124
Attala64025
Tippah63716
Walthall59025
Clay56516
Hancock55720
Noxubee54015
Jasper53815
Clarke53138
Smith51814
Calhoun50612
Tunica47613
Montgomery45320
Claiborne45116
Lawrence42312
Yalobusha41514
Perry39417
Humphreys37215
Quitman3725
Stone34811
Greene33817
Webster32813
Jefferson Davis32311
Amite31110
Carroll31012
Wilkinson30117
Kemper28615
Sharkey26212
Jefferson2379
Benton2181
Franklin1873
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1033
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128818

Reported Deaths: 2284
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18772333
Mobile12975289
Montgomery8598173
Madison742275
Tuscaloosa7081114
Lee560359
Shelby557250
Baldwin503348
Marshall378442
Etowah330645
Calhoun324939
Morgan314226
Houston264422
Elmore249747
DeKalb232619
St. Clair219835
Walker219180
Talladega203426
Limestone194219
Cullman180817
Franklin173428
Dallas173226
Russell16922
Autauga166424
Lauderdale161633
Colbert158126
Escambia155424
Blount152714
Jackson148511
Chilton146327
Covington130327
Dale130043
Coffee12488
Pike11359
Tallapoosa112983
Chambers111742
Clarke104617
Marion92128
Butler90638
Barbour8247
Marengo69619
Winston68712
Lowndes64527
Pickens62814
Bibb61910
Hale61028
Randolph59112
Bullock58514
Lawrence57820
Monroe5738
Geneva5564
Cherokee54816
Washington54513
Perry5366
Clay5317
Wilcox53011
Crenshaw51931
Conecuh51711
Macon46720
Henry4594
Sumter41719
Fayette4159
Choctaw34412
Lamar3372
Cleburne3166
Greene30015
Coosa1603
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