No new coronavirus cases in Lincoln County

Published 4:53 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

While the Mississippi State Department of Health reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, none of those were in Lincoln County.

The county Tuesday remained at four residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus — as confirmed by MSDH — though King’s Daughters Medical Center reports five who have tested positive through the hospital as of Tuesday morning.

MSDH reported 71 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, bringing the state total to 320.

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No cases have been reported in neighboring Amite or Jefferson counties as of the latest update Tuesday.

One death has been attributed to the virus. A Hancock County man with other underlying health conditions died last week in a Louisiana hospital.

Lincoln County Emergency Manager Clifford Galey reminded residents to continue the MSDH recommendations of keeping groups to less than 10 people and staying at least 6 feet apart in public.

Are people listening?

“It appears that a lot of them are,” he said. “There aren’t as many people in town as normally are.”

Gov. Tate Reeves said Tuesday that he will issue an executive order that further restricts people’s physical interactions to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but he is not issuing a stay-at-home order, and it was not immediately clear whether any steps will be taken to enforce the things he is ordering.

Reeves said his executive order will tell businesses to allow “every possible employee” to work from home. He said it will define essential businesses “to give clear guidance to our partners on the local level, should they decide to take additional action.”

“Understand that we are not at the end of this pandemic. In fact, we may still be at the beginning stages of this fight,” Reeves said during a news conference outside the Governor’s Mansion.

Governors in several other states, including Louisiana, are putting tighter limits on people’s movements, including stay-at-home orders.

Reeves said his executive order will tell Mississippi restaurants and bars statewide to close their dining rooms and offer only carry-out or delivery food orders. Some cities and counties have already taken this step.

The Republican governor said he is encouraging — but still not mandating — that people remain home when possible. He said people should stop gathering in groups of 10 or more, even for events like funerals, weddings and church services.

He said the order will also tell people to stop visiting hospitals, nursing homes or long-term care facilities that house the people most vulnerable to becoming sick.

Reeves said Tuesday that Mississippi’s income tax filing deadline has been moved from April 15 to May 15.

The governor said he knows of no confirmed coronavirus cases in Mississippi prisons or county jails, but he also said he did not know whether anyone in those facilities has been tested. The state prison system stopped allowing visitors several days ago, and Reeves said workers are increasing sanitation efforts.

Mississippi public schools are closed until at least April 17, but some public and private schools have started online classes. He said that as of Tuesday, more than 360 sites were providing lunches for students, either for pickup or delivery.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.