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: 307332

Reported Deaths: 7095
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20757248
Hinds19869408
Harrison17475302
Rankin13307275
Jackson13095243
Madison9886210
Lee9854169
Jones8289160
Forrest7522146
Lauderdale7185237
Lowndes6261144
Lamar610284
Lafayette6026117
Washington5279132
Bolivar4769129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4440103
Pearl River4418139
Warren4277118
Marshall4267100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4056132
Union403575
Neshoba3984176
Lincoln3869107
Hancock371985
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322681
Pike3177104
Scott310472
Yazoo304268
Alcorn297664
Itawamba296776
Copiah292965
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284668
Prentiss275659
Marion265679
Wayne261341
Leake260973
Grenada254882
Covington254380
Adams245882
Newton244859
George237647
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213273
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182354
Stone179131
Clarke176676
Tallahatchie175240
Calhoun163130
Yalobusha158636
Smith158534
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126223
Noxubee125833
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite119941
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105332
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95126
Humphreys94332
Franklin81723
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 518588

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson753351487
Mobile37698798
Madison33829494
Tuscaloosa25245443
Montgomery23942565
Shelby23094238
Baldwin20617300
Lee15510165
Calhoun14277311
Morgan14137268
Etowah13660345
Marshall11952219
Houston10379278
Elmore9988200
Limestone9806147
Cullman9467188
St. Clair9422234
Lauderdale9208227
DeKalb8745181
Talladega8042171
Walker7087275
Jackson6753110
Autauga6715103
Blount6480135
Colbert6200130
Coffee5397112
Dale4766110
Russell428238
Franklin419882
Chilton4080109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3892146
Escambia387574
Dallas3526149
Chambers3499122
Clarke346360
Marion3065100
Pike305475
Lawrence295295
Winston272272
Bibb256258
Marengo248561
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224755
Hale218675
Butler212266
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176741
Monroe171240
Washington163838
Macon154348
Clay149354
Crenshaw149257
Cleburne146041
Lamar139234
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99228
Greene90734
Choctaw58624
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