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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.

Confirmed Cases: 14790

Reported Deaths: 710
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds95924
Lauderdale71358
Madison69422
Scott63010
Neshoba58937
Jones56622
Forrest52338
DeSoto5036
Leake40012
Rankin3856
Holmes38524
Jackson30313
Copiah2904
Attala28415
Newton2564
Monroe25225
Leflore25130
Lincoln25024
Harrison2477
Lamar2315
Yazoo2274
Pearl River20631
Pike20311
Adams19015
Lowndes1899
Noxubee1736
Washington1667
Warren1597
Bolivar15411
Wayne1540
Oktibbeha15411
Jasper1524
Smith14511
Covington1431
Clarke13818
Kemper13611
Chickasaw13012
Lafayette1274
Lee1245
Carroll11511
Coahoma1144
Marion1149
Clay1084
Winston1051
Lawrence1021
Simpson950
Hancock8711
Wilkinson859
Yalobusha855
Grenada853
Itawamba847
Montgomery811
Union805
Sunflower783
Jefferson Davis772
Marshall773
Tate741
Tippah7111
Claiborne692
Panola643
Calhoun634
Webster611
Humphreys587
Amite561
Tunica533
Walthall520
Perry503
Prentiss423
Jefferson400
Choctaw342
Stone300
Pontotoc293
Tishomingo280
Franklin282
Tallahatchie261
Quitman250
George211
Benton150
Alcorn141
Greene91
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 16823

Reported Deaths: 605
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2124112
Jefferson1712100
Montgomery154134
Tuscaloosa67813
Marshall6689
Lee53332
Franklin5147
Shelby48419
Tallapoosa41864
Butler39213
Chambers34924
Madison3184
Elmore3137
Walker2991
Baldwin2819
Etowah24411
Dallas2443
DeKalb2413
Morgan2311
Coffee2241
Lowndes22210
Sumter2136
Autauga2053
Houston1884
Bullock1833
Pike1790
Colbert1612
Russell1590
Marengo1556
Lauderdale1532
Calhoun1523
Hale1517
Choctaw1488
Wilcox1347
Barbour1321
Clarke1292
Randolph1257
Marion11911
St. Clair1161
Pickens1014
Talladega1003
Dale990
Chilton971
Cullman960
Greene924
Limestone870
Winston820
Covington771
Jackson752
Crenshaw722
Bibb711
Henry712
Macon712
Washington666
Blount581
Escambia493
Lawrence460
Geneva400
Conecuh351
Coosa351
Monroe352
Perry350
Cherokee342
Clay272
Lamar210
Fayette130
Cleburne131
Unassigned00
Tupelo
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