TIMELINE: Mid-South coronavirus updates May 1

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The impact of the novel coronavirus is being felt all across the Mid-South where new cases are being announced every day and new steps are being taken to help limit the spread. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

Have questions about the spread of coronavirus? We have an entire section dedicated to coverage of the outbreak. CLICK HERE for more.

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App.

Below are the latest updates for Friday, May 1:

UPDATE: 9:30 (p.m.) Arkansas Department of Health reported 3,310 positive cases, 1,985 recoveries, and 64 deaths related to COVID-19 in Arkansas.

Crittenden County has 188 positive cases, 144 recoveries, and 5 deaths related to COVID-19.

UPDATE: (5:50 p.m.) Memphis, Light, Gas, and Water wants you to be alarmed for criminals disguised as essential workers.

Per MLGW, these criminals are posing as essential workers to walk the neighborhoods undetected and enter your homes.

It is important to remember, MLGW employees will always have identification with them, and to never let someone with unauthorized identification into your home.

If someone claims to be an MLGW employee and wants access to your home:

  • Ask for ID.
  • Call MLGW at, 544-6549 and verify that work is being done in your area.

UPDATE: (5:05 p.m.) The Catholic Diocese of Memphis issued a new decree announcing plans to resume masses within two weeks.

Masses across the diocese will resume starting Saturday, May 16, but there will be several new restrictions that run through June 30.

-The cup of blessing (chalices for Holy Communion) and the physical exchange of the sign of peace will be withheld.

-Aside from the celebration of the Word and the Sacraments, No social gatherings in the parish of more than ten people.

-A six foot physical distance is to be maintained in every parish.

-Churches can only be to 50% capacity, so additional masses at larger parishes may be required.

UPDATE: (4:47 p.m.) Kroger sent FOX13 a statement that said they have put a purchase limited on ground beef and fresh pork in some areas.

“At Kroger Delta, we feel good about our ability to maintain a broad assortment of meat and seafood for our customers because we purchase protein from a diverse network of suppliers. There is plenty of protein in the supply chain; however, some processors are experiencing challenges.”

At this time, we’ve added purchase limits only on ground beef and fresh pork in some areas.

UPDATE: (4:30 p.m.) Plans for free drive-thru coronavirus testing on the University of Memphis campus were announced Friday afternoon.

The following was released from the University of Memphis:

Kroger Health is announcing an additional COVID-19 testing site next week for patients in the Memphis area. Kroger Health, along with Cherokee Health Systems, is proud to partner with the University of Memphis to host this FREE drive-thru event. Testing will be Tuesday, May 5 through Thursday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Testing will be held on the University of Memphis campus at the Central Avenue parking lot next to the Holiday Inn (signage will be displayed).

People needing a test will use a virtual screening tool based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to see if they are eligible. Those who are eligible for the testing include health care workers, symptomatic individuals and asymptomatic individuals based on CDC, state and local government recommendations.

Interested individuals can schedule a test at: http://krogerhealth.com/covidtesting


UPDATE: (4:00 p.m.)The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office released new confirmed cases, with 60 employees and 141 detainees testing positive for COVID-19.

UPDATE: (3:00 p.m.) Gov. Bill Lee said more than 1,100 new cases of the coronavirus have been announced across the state.

Nearly 900 of them are related to an outbreak at Trousdale Correctional Center. Two of the inmates have been hospitalized.

As a response to the high number of cases, the state will be doing statewide testing of all prisoners.

In a news release,

"Today, TDOC confirmed more than 1,246 COVID-19 positive cases, out of 2,450 total tests, among staff and inmates at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Trousdale County, following a targeted testing event at the facility that began on April 28.

“We’ve been in close coordination with TDOC as it began targeted COVID-19 testing of inmates and staff in early April,” said UCG Director Stuart McWhorter. “Given the increases in positive cases at the Bledsoe County and Trousdale Turner correctional facilities, despite the vast majority being asymptomatic, we are going to take the next steps in partnership with TDOC, Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), and

Tennessee National Guard to support a broader testing strategy to promote the health and safety of staff and inmates. We will also coordinate plans with our local jails to assist them in safeguarding the health of their populations in the coming days.”

Testing continues to be a major topic of discussion for the briefings.

The state said they are going to be doing a targetted and aggressive testing strategy. They will be targeting locations that have a high-risk factor. Officials wanted to make it clear that the number of cases will go up as a direct result of how aggressive they plan on being.

UPDATE: (2:30 p.m.) The Memphis Police Department released the latest numbers of employees with coronavirus on Friday.

The department says that 15 employees have tested positive for the virus.


UPDATE: (2:25 p.m.) The Memphis Fire Department released new numbers of infected personnel today.

MFD says that five employees have tested positive and seven are in quarantine.

258 employees have returned to work following quarantines.

UPDATE: (1:30 p.m.) Gov. Asa Hutchinson led his daily briefing by announcing there were no new hospitalizations across the state, however, three more people died from the coronavirus. Bringing the death total to 64.

Hutchinson said on May 4, the gym and fitness restrictions are being lifted.

Barbershops and hair salons will be able to open up on May 6.

Below is a list of guidelines that are being set as the services reopen their doors.

UPDATE: (12:10 p.m.) The Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force gave a briefing today on plans for reopening the community.

Shelby County Health Department Director Dr. Alisa Haushalter said it was possible to have a spike in cases.

Haushalter said today’s total of 2,556 cases is an increase of 153 since Wednesday.

The positivity rate is 8.7 percent.

There have been 50 deaths in Shelby County due to the coronavirus.

The average age of death is 73.

Haushalter said 52 percent of the cases have recovered.

Almost 30,000 people have been tested in Shelby County.

Haushalter said people should continue to practice social distancing efforts.

People are encouraged to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth and wash their hands regularly.

Haushalter said people should stay home if they are ill.

People who can work from home are encouraged to continue working from home.

Haushalter said the Health Department has not given permission for salons and barbershops to reopen.

New testing sites will open next week at the following locations: Freeman Park in Bartlett, the Agricenter, the University of Memphis near the Holiday Inn and Christ Community locations in Orange Mound and on Broad Avenue.

Memphis mayor Jim Strickland said a revised safer-at-home order will go into effect Monday.

The plan will be incorporated into the Back-to-Business framework.

Strickland said this will not be back to business as usual.

People are asked to limit activities and only travel when necessary.

Strickland said we could see a surge in cases if we don’t abide by social distancing rules.

Strickland said a surge could potentially roll back business openings.

Groups larger than 10 people are still prohibited.

Businesses must comply with COVID-19 compliance protocols. The city will monitor compliance.

Restaurants and gyms/fitness centers have specific protocols.

Parks and golf courses will remain open with social distancing guidelines in place.

Churches and places of worship must adhere to regulations from Governor Bill Lee.

Strickland said churches should continue to offer virtual services.

Gov. Lee will issue guidelines for places of worship this afternoon, Strickland said.

Strickland said Gov. Lee amended his plan to allow salons and barbershops to open May 6.

Strickland said he could not speak for suburban cities in Shelby County regarding that, and that he will rely on the guidance of doctors as far as salons and barbershops reopening in Memphis.

Dr. Jon McCullers said the county has seen a stabilization of the rate of new cases over the last 3-4 weeks.

McCullers said the hospitalization rate for people with COVID-19 is also stable.

Hospital capacity right now is good, according to McCullers. The hospitals have open beds and open ICU beds.

The county’s capacity for testing is increasing.

The county can perform around 1,000 tests per day.

McCullers said the county is not done expanding testing.

UPDATE: (11:48 a.m.) Mississippi Department of Health officials are reporting 397 new cases of COVID-19 this morning.

20 more people have died in the state.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Mississippi since March 11 is now 7,212 with 281 deaths.

UPDATE: (10:05 a.m.) Shelby County health officials today announced the number of COVID-19 cases in the county is now 2,556.

50 people have died in Shelby County from the coronavirus.

29,430 people have been tested in the county.

UPDATE: (7:15 a.m.) Tristate Community Health Center is offering free COVID-19 testing by appointment only today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 1725 Pinebrook Dr., Memphis TN 38116.

Testing will also be available at 4041 Knight Arnold Rd., Memphis TN 38118.

To make an appointment text COV2019 to 91999 or call 901.572.1573.

UPDATE: (7:12 a.m.) The Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center in Tunica, Miss. is conducting drive-thru COVID-19 testing today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Paul Battle Arena.

The testing will also be available May 8.

Individuals must call 662-645-7806 to go through a pre-screening to receive an appointment to be tested.

UPDATE: (5:45 a.m.) A new drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 is opening today at Case Management Inc.'s Your Community Health and Wellness Primary Care Clinic at 1087 Alice Ave., Memphis TN 38106.

The site will open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Testing will also be available tomorrow at the same time.

UPDATE: (5:25 a.m.) Free face masks are available today in Oxford, Miss through a face mask giveaway at Oxford High School.

You can get up to four face masks per vehicle while supplies last.

Pick-up times are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

UPDATE: (5:17 a.m.) The Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis is hosting a COVID-19 Response Project Event today from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for families in the 38126 zip code.

The event will take place at the former Georgia Avenue School, 690 Mississippi Blvd, Memphis, TN 38126.

The organization will give away food and other resources to families.

UPDATE: (5:15 a.m.) Jimmy John’s, located at 7850 Poplar Ave., Memphis, will give away free lunch today for kids in K-6th grade, according to a press release.

The giveaway will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

UPDATE: (4:45 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank will distribute food today at the following mobile pantry locations:

Memphis, Fairley High School 4950 Fairley 38109, 10 a.m.

Memphis, Women's Foundation 690 Mississippi 38126, 10 a.m.

Memphis, Iglesia Nueva Direccion 3097 Knight 38108, 10 a.m.

Memphis, Shady Grove Pres. Church 5530 Shady Grove 38102, 10 a.m.

Memphis, Powerhouse 1350 Norris 38106, 10 a.m.

UPDATE: (4:35 a.m.) Below are the current number of cases and deaths, by state, for our area:

Tennessee 10,735 - 199 deaths.

5,338 recovered.

2,484 cases in Shelby County. 47 deaths in Shelby County.

Mississippi 6,8150 - 261 deaths.

3,413 estimated recovered.

282 cases in DeSoto County. 4 deaths in DeSoto County.

Arkansas 3,281 - 61 deaths.

153,947 recovered.

187 cases in Crittenden County. 5 deaths in Crittenden County.