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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: 319428

Reported Deaths: 7361
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22264265
Hinds20645421
Harrison18386317
Rankin13864282
Jackson13678248
Madison10237224
Lee10052176
Jones8458167
Forrest7822153
Lauderdale7257242
Lowndes6498149
Lamar633688
Lafayette6301120
Washington5419136
Bolivar4835133
Panola4664110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4599147
Marshall4572105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425073
Monroe4155135
Union415576
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386087
Leflore3515125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3368111
Alcorn324172
Scott319574
Yazoo314171
Itawamba305078
Adams304985
Copiah299666
Coahoma298383
Simpson298189
Tippah291768
Prentiss283661
Leake271774
Marion271280
Covington267183
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251951
Newton248663
Tishomingo231268
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187754
Stone187433
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun174032
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite126142
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica108027
Jefferson Davis107833
Claiborne103030
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman81916
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548163

Reported Deaths: 11281
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809371565
Mobile42040826
Madison35654524
Tuscaloosa26161458
Shelby25588254
Montgomery25080611
Baldwin21833313
Lee16259175
Calhoun14714325
Morgan14621285
Etowah14166362
Marshall12447230
Houston10764288
Elmore10293212
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10158250
Cullman9935201
Lauderdale9592249
DeKalb8965189
Talladega8455184
Walker7334280
Autauga7230113
Blount6938139
Jackson6919113
Colbert6411140
Coffee5626127
Dale4929114
Russell454541
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4272122
Tallapoosa4133155
Escambia401780
Chambers3724123
Dallas3606156
Clarke352861
Marion3241106
Pike314078
Lawrence3125100
Winston283572
Bibb268264
Geneva257281
Marengo250665
Pickens236662
Barbour234659
Hale226778
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186944
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155357
Cleburne153144
Lamar146237
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113330
Coosa111529
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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Feels Like: 79°
Columbus
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The relative lack of humidity has been a welcome change from the summertime stuffiness we’ve had lately. That lack of humidity will once again ensure that temperatures get down into the mid 60s for early morning Thursday. While Friday morning will remain comfortable as well, rain chances ratchet up as a tropical system approaches this weekend.
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