TIMELINE: Mid-South coronavirus updates April 20

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.

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Below are the latest updates for Monday, April 20, 2020:

UPDATE: (4:00 p.m.) Tennessee State Parks will reopen most of its 56 state parks on Friday, April 24, for day-use only. Specific details on which parks will reopen will be available on tnstateparks.com this week.

“We are eager to serve once again but we urge Tennesseans to continue to practice physical distancing when visiting parks,” Jim Bryson, deputy commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, said. “We have implemented policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and we will monitor all aspects of the issue to ensure safety among visitors and our staff.”

UPDATE: (3:55 p.m.) Explore Bike Share announced Monday that thye are extending their free bike rental community campaign called “Let’s Ride This Out” for 30 more days.

After one month of free bike rentals, sponsors and donors have once again stepped up to provide the service free-of-charge to all Memphians 24/7.

Close to 500 first-time riders checked out an Explore Bike Share bike during the Let’s Ride This Out initial month of free rides. Total miles over the 30-day period surpassed 4,400 miles and burned an estimated 177,579 calories.

“While parks are closed to vehicular traffic, parks are not closed,” said Explore Bike Share Executive Director Anton Mack. “This is an invitation to explore Memphis in an incredibly unique way. Traverse a new bike path or route among our hundreds of miles of bike infrastructure. Our streets are welcoming your daily solo exercise.”

Riders are encouraged to continue to use bike rentals as a means to practice wellness or navigate their neighborhood while adhering to CDC and city guidelines.

Memphians may access the free bike rentals via the BCycle app, a payment kiosk, or explorebikeshare.com.

UPDATE: (3:15 p.m.) Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris to donate one million face masks to COVID-19 healthcare workers.

UPDATE: (3:00 p.m.) Tennessee continues to expand testing.

The state tested about 11,200 over the weekend with the testing sites the state made available.

For over 10 days, the state has seen single-digit percentages increases of the coronavirus.

Governor Bill Lee announced Monday that the “Stay at Home” order will expire on April 30.

The state is making guidelines for all businesses on how to reopen in a safe way and social distancing must continue.

State Parks will begin to reopen Friday.

There is a federal mandate for all nursing homes to report positive cases to all families of patients.

CLICK HERE for the full story.

UPDATE: (2:30 p.m.) Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves held his daily press conference today.

The state has reopened some businesses for soft sales. People can go online or call in, buy items and do curbside pickup.

They also opened some recreational locations.

Mississippi was also on a call with Vice President Pence about testing in the state.

Reeves mentioned that Pence stated that the nation has hit the peak of cases.

Over 51,000 people have been tested in that state and the governor wants to continue to expand testing throughout the state.

Reeves said the curve in the state is flattening and it is consistent.

He is very confident that the hospitals will not be overwhelmed is there is another surge of COVID-19 cases.

The state wants everyone to know that the social distancing guidelines will continue if and when the Stay at Home order will be lifted.

UPDATE: (2:10 p.m.) The Village at Germantown reported an additional death.

“We are saddened by these deaths and mourn the loss of our friends and neighbors,” said Michael K. Craft, chief executive officer of The Village. “And we are determined to do all we can do to protect the health and safety of our residents and our associates.”

UPDATE: (2:00 p.m.): The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 7,238 as of April 20, 2020, including 152 deaths, 730 hospitalizations and 3,575 recovered

UPDATE: (1:30 p.m.) Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas addresses the state on the COVID-19 fight.

The state has 1,923 cases of the coronavirus in the state. 117 of those cases are in Cummins Prison and the state is still waiting on more information. There are about 600 total cases at the prison.

There are now 42 deaths in Arkansas.

1,133 cases are active, 244 are healthcare workers, 188 are in nursing homes, 93 are hospitalized, 24 are on ventilators and 749 have recovered.

The governor wants to be able to test a broader spectrum of people.

A big note that Hutchinson said is to not think social restrictions are over when the state begins to open up areas of businesses.

The governor has had many questions from grandparents wanting to see their grandchildren and the health director said it could be awhile.

The first lady of Arkansas wanted to make sure that Arkansians are reporting child abuse if they see it because it is Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Since the children aren’t in school, child abuse isn’t being reported like it was.

The state has opened additional resources to report child abuse.

UPDATE: (12:15 p.m.) The Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force gave an update on the coronavirus today at noon.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris said he will propose a 1.4 billion dollar budget today at 3 p.m., which will largely focus on the area’s response to the coronavirus.

Harris said this is one of the most transformative periods in Shelby County’s 200-year history.

The budget will be “lean and balanced,” according to Harris, and there will be cuts in spending.

Harris said Shelby County must be ready meet the needs of those hit hard by the pandemic.

Shelby County continues to expand access to COVID-19 testing.

Last week, Christ Community Health opened two new test sites in Frayser and Hickory Hill.

Harris said the County has tested nearly 20,000 people.

Harris announced the Greater Memphis Chamber will host a New Normal Virtual Summit on April 28, which will feature 4 micro-conferences aimed at preparing the Memphis business community for reopening.

Registration for the summit is free, and is available at http://covid19.shelbycountytn.gov.

The summit will highlight the need for creating safe workspaces amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Shelby County Health Department official Bruce Randolph said there are 1,807 cases of COVID-19 in the county.

There have been 38 deaths in the county.

A total of 19,195 people have been tested.

Randolph addressed outbreaks at the following senior living facilities and health facilities:

Carriage Court - 4 deaths. 7 residents have tested positive; 1 staff member has tested positive.

Christian Care Center - 11 residents have tested positive; 3 staff members have tested positive.

Parkway Health and Rehab - 14 residents have tested positive; 2 staff members have tested positive.

Heritage at Irene Woods - 11 residents have tested positive.

King’s Daughters and Sons Home - 5 residents have tested positive; 1 staff member has tested positive.

Village at Germantown - 4 deaths. 5 residents have tested positive; 2 staff members have tested positive.

Hancock House Group Home - 2 residents have tested positive.

Lakeside Behavioral Health - 3 staff members have tested positive.

Randolph encouraged everyone to get tested, especially as conversations about reopening begin.

People who have mild symptoms should still get tested.

Anyone who is sick should stay at home and not go to work, Randolph said.

Employers should monitor their employees by checking temperatures, asking about symptoms and not allowing sick employees to work.

Employers should also supply PPE to employees and encourage safe social distancing.

The Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps still needs volunteers for both medical and non-medical positions.

You can sign up online at www.tnmrc.org.

UPDATE: (11:11 a.m.) Mississippi health department is reporting 238 new cases with 10 new deaths. This brings the total number to 4,512 total cases and 169 death.

DeSoto County has 238 cases with three deaths.

UPDATE: (10:39 a.m.) The Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability announced today it has launched a support program to help the state’s older adults who are facing social isolation and food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Care Through Conversation program will help ensure the needs of older adults are met through a regularly scheduled telephone call with a volunteer.

Read the full story here.

UPDATE: (10:04 a.m.) Shelby County health officials have reported a total of 1,807 cases of COVID-19 this morning.

The number is 29 more cases than yesterday.

Additionally, the County is reporting 38 deaths, one more than yesterday.

UPDATE: (9:50 a.m.) Today Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced more than 11,000 Tennesseans received free COVID-19 tests this weekend, according to a press release.

Saturday’s turnout for testing was the largest, with more than 6,500 samples taken at 22 sites across the state.

Read the full story here.

UPDATE: (9 a.m.) Arkansas is reporting more cases of COVID-19 this morning, for a total of 1,853.

Total deaths in the state is now 41.

UPDATE: (8:25 a.m.) - Arkansas has reported its first death of a healthcare worker due to COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.

State Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith said yesterday the worker at Jefferson Regional Medical Center died along with a nursing home resident, bringing the number of deaths in the state to 40.

UPDATE: (7:50 a.m.) This morning FOX13 interviewed Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland about a possible date to relax the stay-at-home orders.

Strickland said there is no start date in place, and he doesn’t know when those orders will be relaxed.

City leaders are working to come up with a plan on relaxing those orders.

Doctors have said Mid-South will not see its peak in COVID-19 cases until May or mid-June.

Watch the full interview below:


UPDATE: (6:30 a.m.) Girl Scouts Heart of the South Council will deliver 4,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies today to be included in care packages for workers in the hospitality industry, according to a press release.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Girl Scouts were unable to complete this year’s cookie booth sales, and are donating the remaining cookies to various organizations across the Mid-South.

Today’s donations will take place at 10 a.m. at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis.

UPDATE: (6:15 a.m.) Beginning today the Kroc Center will be offering free child care to healthcare workers and first responders.

Daily activities will include educational instruction, physical activity, arts and crafts, swim time and learning games, all within safe social distancing guidelines, according to a press release.

There is a limit of 50 children ages 5-12.

The Kroc Center is located at 800 E Pkwy S, Memphis, TN 38104.

For more information call 901.729.8007.

UPDATE: (4:53 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank will be distributing food today through its Mobile Panty at the following locations:

Memphis, Kroc Center, 800 E. Parkway 38104 10 a.m.

Marshall Cty, MS- 382 Cuba St. in Holly Springs 10 a.m.

Lee Cty, MS- 375 E. Main St. at BancorpSouth Arena in Tupelo 9 a.m.

Memphis, Riverside Baptist Church 3560 S. Third St. 10 a.m.

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

Tennessee 7,070 - 148 deaths.

28 cases in Dyer County. 45 cases in Fayette County. 1778 cases in Shelby County. 56 cases in Tipton County.

37 deaths in Shelby County.

536 people have recovered in Shelby County.

3,234 have recovered in Tennessee.

Mississippi 4,274 - 159 deaths.

48 cases in Coahoma County. 234 cases in DeSoto County. 64 cases in Lafayette County. 38 cases in Marshall County. 35 cases in Panola County. 31 cases in Tate County. 47 cases in Tippah County.

3 deaths in DeSoto County.

A total of 50,272 people have been tested in Mississippi.

Arkansas 1,781 - 39 deaths.

139 cases in Crittenden County. 4 deaths in Crittenden County.

738 people have recovered in Arkansas.

A total of 26,483 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.