TIMELINE: Mid-South coronavirus updates April 23

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.

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Below are the latest updates for Thursday, April 23, 2020:

UPDATE: (6:40 p.m.) According to the latest numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, there are 2,599 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 922 have recovered from the virus and 45 people in Arkansas have died.

UPDATE: (3:07 p.m.) Governor Lee said he and his team are working around the clock to get the economy back on track and start reopening most of Tennessee.

Tomorrow morning they are holding a special briefing to update the media on the plan.

RELATED: Safer at Home Order in Tennessee will expire April 30, governor says

The restaurants and retail locations will be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity and they must follow the guidelines that will be released on Friday. This is only in the 89 counties that do not have their own health department. Shelby County is not included in the nearly 90.

Earlier this week, the Lee Administration said they will work with Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, and Sullivan counties and their health departments as they plan their own re-open strategies.

This is due to the high number of cases Shelby County continues to see.

Gov. Lee called the plan “Safe Reopening Guidance.”

This announcement comes on the heel of Tennessee releasing new numbers. The COVID-19 case count is now at 8,266, including 170 deaths, 793 hospitalizations, and 4,193 recovered.

State parks are set to be reopened tomorrow. An official said that some people might be turned away if too many people arrive.

They are also asking people to wear masks while walking around. Many of the amenities at the park are closed. So, he urged people to come prepared because food and restaurants might not be available.

UPDATE: (3:00 p.m.) Progress is being made as the former Commercial Appeal building is converted into an alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients.

The facility is slated to be ready 3 weeks from now on May 14.

According to the U.S. Amy Corps of Engineers, it will hold approximately 400 patients if needed.

UPDATE: (2:25 p.m.) Gov. Lee is expected to be in Memphis this Saturday. He will be at the Christ Community Health Center which is offering testing from noon to 3 p.m. on the same day.

UPDATE: (2:00 p.m.) The Tennessee Department of Health released its latest coronavirus data this afternoon.

Right now, there are 8266 cases in the state, 170 deaths, 793 hospitalizations, and 4193 recoveries.

The also released updated information on cases by age and race.

45% of confirmed cases are white and 20.2% are black.

47.8% of cases are female, 49.1% are male, and 3.2% are pending.

UPDATE: (1:35 p.m.) The number of cases across the state of Arkansas continues to increase. There were more than 170 new cases reported with three more deaths.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson showed a chart that showed the expanded testing across the state.

The governor put together a board to help combat the coronavirus.

The board put out the recommendations for the state of Arkansas:

  1. Expand testing for all patients with symptoms consistent with COVID-19.
  2. Expand testing for contact investigations.
  3. Screen for COVID-19 in high-risk settings.
  4. Develop a strategy for statewide surveillance.

Gov. Hutchinson also emphasized the need for people in Arkansas to get testing if they have symptoms. Currently, the state is testing around 1,000 people a day. They want to increase it to 1,500 for the next two days.

“If you think you have symptoms, don’t wait. Get tested."

Dr. Smith said the state is not fully utilizing the testing capacity. In regards to the prison system in Arkansas, Cummins Unit has more than 600 inmates who have tested positive.

UPDATE: (12:48 p.m.) Dyersburg State Community College announced that all May session and summer semester courses will be delivered through distance learning, according to a press release.

Students will attend classes through Zoom teleconferencing during their designated class times.

Online and TNecampus classes will be offered as normal, according to the press release.

From the press release:

Current students can make an appointment for online advising through the Navigate app (www.dscc.edu/navigate) or through the DSCC website.

Prospective students can make an appointment by going to the DSCC website and clicking on “Future Students,” and “Make an Appointment.”

For more information on DSCC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit dscc.edu/coronavirus.

UPDATE: (10:20 a.m.) The Mississippi Department of Health is reporting 259 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, as well as eight more deaths.

The total number of coronavirus cases in Mississippi since March 11 is now 5,153, with 201 deaths.

UPDATE: (10:02 a.m.) The Shelby County Health Department is reporting a total of 1,931 cases of COVID-19.

This is an increase of seven more cases than yesterday.

There have been no new deaths reported.

UPDATE: (9:44) Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 will be available this weekend at an area Christ Community Community Health Center located at 969 Frayser Blvd., Memphis.

Testing will be available Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

Read the full story here.

UPDATE: (9:31 a.m.) The Arkansas Department of Health is reporting an increase in cases today, for a total of 2,438 cases in the state.

The number is an increase of 176 more cases than yesterday.

UPDATE: (9:17 a.m.) The number of unemployment claims across Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas went down last week, according to U.S. Department of Labor data.

Read the full story here.

UPDATE: (8:56 a.m.) The Shops at Carriage Crossing shopping center and Home Instead Senior Care have partnered to send letters to senior citizens amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to a press release.

Send Senior Citizens Love is a program that aims to share words of kindness and encouragement to senior citizens in the community.

Read the full story here.

UPDATE: (7:11 a.m.) Bartlett City Schools has extended its free meal program through May 22.

Meals can be picked up today in the front drive at Bartlett High School, 5688 Woodlawn St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

UPDATE: (5:10 a.m.) Club Windward Catering, located at 3740 Canada Rd., Lakeland, TN 38002, is giving away meals today and tomorrow for those in need.

Owners Pat and Georgia Smith are funding the meal pick-up, along with their friends who have donated money for food costs, according to an email.

The pick-up is first come, first served.

There are frozen meals as back-up if needed, the email said.

Each meal package serves four people.

The meal pick-up is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

UPDATE: (4:48 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank will be distributing food today through its Mobile Pantries at the following locations:

Haywood, TN- First Baptist, 311 E. Jefferson 38017, in Brownsville 10 a.m.

Memphis, Divine Life 5270 Riverdale Rd. 38141, 10 a.m.

Memphis, YMCA-Cordova 7950 Club Center Cove 38016, 10 a.m.

Memphis, MAM-Grizzlies Center 2107 Ball Rd. 38114, 10 a.m.

Shelby Cty, TN- Inglesia Nueva Vida 7981 Summer Ave. 38133, in Bartlett 10 a.m.

Tunica Cty, MS- 3873 US Hwy 61 38676, at the Arena, 1 p.m.

Tipton Cty, TN- 632 St. Luke 38019 in Covington 10 a.m.

Memphis, New Direction Church 6120 Winchester 38115, 11 a.m.

UPDATE: (4:40 a.m.) Here are the lastest number of cases by state for our area:

Tennessee 7,842 - 166 deaths.

29 cases in Dyer County. 48 cases in Fayette County. 1,924 cases in Shelby County. 83 cases in Tipton County.

41 deaths in Shelby County.

799 people have recovered in Shelby County.

4,012 have recovered in Tennessee.

Mississippi 4,894- 193 deaths.

53 cases in Coahoma County. 244 cases in DeSoto County. 70 cases in Lafayette County. 39 cases in Marshall County. 37 cases in Panola County. 35 cases in Tate County. 49 cases in Tippah County. 34 cases in Tunica County.

3 deaths in DeSoto County.

Arkansas 2,392 - 44 deaths.

147 cases in Crittenden County. 5 deaths in Crittenden County.

893 people have recovered in Arkansas.

A total of 31,442 people have been tested in Arkansas.

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