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Governor Tate Reeves talks reopening some businesses

Gov. Tate Reeves

The Governor has not set a timeline for allowing restaurants to reopen for dine-in services.

Posted: Apr 22, 2020 7:12 PM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Wednesday that he expects to take steps next week in a gradual reopening of the state's economy during the coronavirus pandemic. He didn't specify what those will be, but said he's taking advice from public health experts.

He also said he recognizes that people face economic hardships.

“I've said it before and I will say it again: There is no such thing as a nonessential business to the owners and the people who depend on that business to provide for their families,” the Republican governor said.

Orders issued in Mississippi and other places have closed many businesses in recent weeks to try to slow the spread of the virus. Grocery stores and pharmacies are among those allowed to remain open because they are deemed essential. Early this week, Reeves took the first step toward easing restrictions on some businesses classified as nonessential, including clothing stores and florists, by allowing them to sell items for delivery or curbside pickup.

Reeves's current statewide stay-at-home order expires Monday morning. He said Wednesday that he's likely to extend that order for people who are most vulnerable to the highly contagious virus — those who are 65 or older or who have conditions such as obesity or high blood pressure.

He also said he has not set a timeline for allowing restaurants to reopen for dine-in services.

“Much to the chagrin of some ... we did not shut those down very early in this process," Reeves said. "We allowed restaurants to (remain) open, particularly those who could key social distancing guidelines in effect. We allowed them to serve groups of smaller than 10 people.”

He said it is likely to be a gradual process in reverse, with restaurants being required at first to limit the number of customers and to provide space for people to keep distance from each other.

The state Health Department said Wednesday that Mississippi had at least 4,894 confirmed cases and 193 deaths from the coronavirus as of Tuesday evening. That was an increase of 178 cases and 10 deaths from the previous day. The state’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.

The department said Monday that at least 470 coronavirus cases have been confirmed at 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.

The Health Department said more than 53,800 coronavirus tests had been done in the state as of Tuesday.

Reeves said Wednesday that four inmates in the Mississippi prison system had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Tuesday, and 19 inmates have tested negative. He said a test for one inmate was still pending. The Department of Corrections previously said that one inmate who tested positive for the virus had died.

Four staff members for the Department of Corrections have tested positive for the virus, and at least one of those people has returned to work, Reeves said. He said 25 corrections staff members have tested negative, and test results for six others are still pending.

The Mississippi prison system has about 20,500 inmates in custody.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19690230
Hinds18812389
Harrison16722280
Rankin12725265
Jackson12603228
Lee9691160
Madison9466203
Jones7978147
Forrest7217138
Lauderdale6836226
Lowndes6031140
Lamar588480
Lafayette5736113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4612123
Oktibbeha441493
Panola430894
Pearl River4174130
Warren4130115
Pontotoc409771
Marshall403392
Monroe3990126
Union395674
Neshoba3817169
Lincoln3544103
Hancock347975
Leflore3376118
Sunflower318986
Tate302974
Pike300796
Scott293970
Alcorn291862
Itawamba290075
Yazoo289963
Tippah278965
Coahoma278668
Copiah278158
Simpson275879
Prentiss269858
Wayne254241
Marion252778
Leake252671
Covington248980
Grenada247578
Adams234678
George231845
Newton229952
Winston221777
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201152
Holmes182370
Clay179251
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170939
Clarke169371
Calhoun157928
Smith152832
Yalobusha144836
Greene127733
Walthall124240
Noxubee122831
Montgomery122639
Perry121734
Lawrence120421
Carroll118425
Amite111734
Webster110631
Jefferson Davis101931
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93524
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77214
Franklin76119
Choctaw69617
Jefferson62727
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48917
Issaquena1676
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 494421

Reported Deaths: 9991
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson711451374
Mobile36184735
Madison32457458
Tuscaloosa24213412
Montgomery22636517
Shelby22020214
Baldwin19790284
Lee14980154
Morgan13693251
Calhoun13307287
Etowah13192320
Marshall11269209
Houston10102261
Elmore9408185
Limestone9376134
Cullman8903181
St. Clair8839224
Lauderdale8601212
DeKalb8465175
Talladega7552164
Walker6538258
Jackson6503103
Autauga630391
Blount6106127
Colbert5993119
Coffee5254102
Dale4648107
Russell405233
Franklin399478
Covington3970106
Chilton3883100
Escambia378172
Tallapoosa3596143
Clarke343753
Chambers3421111
Dallas3412141
Pike293372
Lawrence283684
Marion283495
Winston247368
Bibb245460
Geneva240270
Marengo236557
Pickens224555
Barbour212451
Hale210668
Fayette200957
Butler197566
Henry182641
Cherokee177139
Monroe166339
Randolph163840
Washington156635
Crenshaw145254
Clay145054
Macon142343
Cleburne137841
Lamar133133
Lowndes131251
Wilcox122525
Bullock117136
Conecuh106724
Perry105827
Sumter98632
Coosa89224
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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