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.
Below are the latest updates for Wednesday, March 25
UPDATE: (6:35 p.m.) Mississippi reports two more people have died from the coronavirus. The cases were a Wilkinson County male 85-90 years old with previous conditions who died while hospitalized and a Tunica County female 75-80 who died in a long-term care facility. The total is now five.
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UPDATE: (3:42 p.m.) Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported the third death from coronavirus in Mississippi.
“The case was a male 65-70 years old from Webster County with underlying health conditions. He died while hospitalized," a release said.
UPDATE: (3 p.m.) Governor Bill Lee confirms there are 784 cases of COVID-19.
CDC has pledged $10 million to provide help in coronavirus costs that include supplies, tests, testing, etc.
We are a proportional leader in testing in this region. We are testing more than most of our neighboring states with higher populations.
Schools need to remain closed until April 24, which means parents need childcare help.
$10 million is being sent to help get childcare services for many of those who need it and other facilities that are opening an emergency childcare facility, to accommodate the children of many healthcare workers.
The state is asking the Center for Medical Services for funds to help those who can’t afford a COVID-19 test or COVID-19 services.
Many organizations have donated PPE equipment to medical workers and the military helping combat the coronavirus.
Major General Holmes said they have immobilized 250 soldiers and airmen in the National Guard, most specifically those in medical fields, to help the state in the coronavirus epidemic.
These soldiers and airmen are in training right now on what they are expected to do and how they are to help the needs of Tennesseans.
The mission is a humanitarian mission, not a law enforcement mission.
There are 1,000 soldiers and airmen who are waiting to be immobilized if needed.
There are continuous conversations with the Department of Defense to keep the lines of communication open with Washington, D.C.
There is a lag in reporting the number of cases from the counties to the state and expect local numbers to be ahead of the state numbers.
Gov. Lee said most of the cases in the state are young people.
The state is developing a plan to use rural hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
UPDATE: (2:35 p.m.) While the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted operations for many in the state, the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery (ASL) wants winners to know that lottery prizes can still be redeemed.
Since March 1, more than $24 million in prizes have been awarded. Of that, almost $2 million were prizes of more than $500.
“The work of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery continues during an otherwise stressful time for all Arkansans,” said Bishop Woosley, director of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery. “We are pleased to be able to award prize money and know that most of it will be reinvested back into our economy at a time when we really need the boost.”
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, prizes of less than $25,000 must be redeemed by mail. Winners should go to MyArkansasLottery.com/ClaimYourPrize to print a form for completion and then mail it to P.O. Box 3838, Little Rock, AR 72203.
UPDATE: (2:30 p.m.) The commissioners of Tennessee’s Departments of Children’s Services (DCS) and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) are asking for individuals who are students who have earned or are pursuing a master’s degree or are retired from counseling, clinical therapy, social work, and related fields to consider joining the workforce in the event there are workforce needs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
The four state-operated psychiatric hospitals, known as Regional Mental Health Institutes, have immediate openings in many job classifications. The RMHIs also have entry-level Psychiatric Technician and other positions available which could be a fit for workers displaced from food- service or hospitality jobs. RMHI locations include Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, and Bolivar, Tennessee.
“We know this is an unprecedented situation, and Governor Lee has asked us all to be agile in our staffing practices to meet the needs of our state. Tennessee has a wealth of professionals with both a head and a heart to help our state’s most vulnerable citizens,” said TDMHSAS Commissioner Marie Williams, LCSW.
The Department of Children’s Services is building a register of retired DCS case managers or masters-level students who are interested in part-time employment working with children and families. DCS is also currently hiring part time security officers and other support staff at Wilder Youth Development Center in west Tennessee.
Individuals interested in submitting their information should visit: TN.gov/behavioral-health/jobinfo
UPDATE: (2:05 p.m.) The Shelby County Health Department said there is more transmission between younger people and those in the workplace.
A health directive was issued to ensure the health and safety of all residents of Shelby County, focusing on those in the unincorporated county, in conjunction with what a lot of the cities have done.
The department reiterated that all non-essential employees stay home, only leave if necessary.
They believe about 5 percent in the county has been hospitalized, which comes to about 10 people.
38% of cases in the county are between the ages of 21 to 40.
The health department recommends there should be a 30 to 60-day incubation period because that is when China started to see the numbers decline.
UPDATE: (2:00 p.m.) The COVID-19 case count for Tennessee is now 784 as of March 25, 2020, including three deaths and 53 hospitalizations.
UPDATE: (1:40 p.m.) Governor Asa Hutchinson confirms there is 280 cases of COVID-19.
The governor expressed his gratitude for the doctors and nurses.
The medical board has made an emergency temporary licensure to those who have completed one year at least of an internship.
The state waived the fees associated with licenses and they now have 100 new physicians and 300 new nurses.
The state is also working on a directive to limit the number of people at social gatherings.
The governor signed a proclamation to have a special general assembly that will convene tomorrow.
There were 9,000 unemployment claims last week, and this week 8,000, plus 700 just this morning.
There are 13 children that are 18 and younger who have the coronavirus and 94 people 65 and older.
The state has COVID-19 patients: 12 hospitalized and four on ventilators.
The health department said most of the cases are female.
Governor wants to avoid a “Safer at Home” order.
UPDATE: (1:00 p.m.) St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced changes regarding employee access to campus.
“Starting today, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, in adherence with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s Safer at Home order, will have only St. Jude employees who perform essential functions on campus. All other employees are at home. In addition, St. Jude is conducting enhanced COVID-19 screenings on all employees providing patient care. The enhanced screenings include daily symptoms checks and periodic COVID-19 testing.”
The hospital says that the screenings will improve their ability to identify possible infections in patient care workers early and minimize the spread of the virus.
UPDATE: (12:55 p.m.) Memphis-based Radians, a manufacturer and supplier of personal protective equipment, has donated over 14,000 N95 face masks to Memphis and Shelby County.
Radians CEO, Mike Tutor, said the donation “represents Radians’ corporate responsibility to help the Memphis community during challenging times. With a worldwide shortage of respirators, we knew this donation would quickly assist our local first responders and medical community as they help the Memphis community rise above the COVID-19 crisis. The respirators will also be of service at the COVID-19 test sites that are being set-up across the city.”
Both City of Memphis Jim Strickland and Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris thanked the company for stepping up to help our community in a time of great need.
UPDATE: (12:30 p.m.) Southland Mall has announced they will temporarily close during the coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, Mason Asset Management and Namdar Realty Group said “We have been closely tracking developments related to COVID-19 and have been following the guidance of authorities, ensuring that above all else, our patrons, merchants, and employees are safe and healthy. The situation has indeed evolved, and in accordance with the state mandate and with our community in mind, we have temporarily closed all Tennessee malls until further notice. We sincerely appreciate our diligent team’s work in maintaining a safe and clean environment over the last few weeks, and we hope to re-open as soon as possible.”
UPDATE: (11:00 a.m.) BlueCross BlueShield Tennessee Foundation announced it is donating $3.25 million to multiple food banks across the state.
The company is donating $750,000 to the Mid-South Food Bank.
Demand for food is expected to increase as businesses and schools are closed throughout the state.
UPDATE: (10:50 a.m.) The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Wednesday afternoon on a $2 trillion stimulus package aimed at getting money to businesses and individuals as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the country.
UPDATE: (10:10 a.m.) There are now 377 cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, according to health department officials. The state reported its second death from the virus earlier this morning.
UPDATE: (10:00 a.m.) The Memphis Police Department has suspended vacation days (time off) and approvals until further notice.
All vacation requests that are already approved or pending are canceled.
MPD is asking all employees to refrain from nonessential business and personal travel.
UPDATE: (9:40 a.m.) The Mississippi State Department of Health reported the second death from coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
The case was a man 60-65 years old from Holmes County with underlying health conditions, according to a press release.
He died while hospitalized.
UPDATE: (9:35 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank has suspended all volunteer activity in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
According to a press release, all volunteer activities are suspended beginning today until further notice.
UPDATE: (9:30 a.m.) Two employees at Regional One Hospital have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to a press release, both employees are appropriately isolated.
Both employees were in self-isolation at home before positive results came back.
UPDATE: (9:20 a.m.) The number of COVID-19 cases in Arkansas is now 236, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.
UPDATE: (9:15 a.m.) The number of COVID-19 cases in Shelby County is now 170, according to health department officials.
UPDATE: (8:30 a.m.) The University of Memphis is using 3-D printers to make protective gear for healthcare professionals during the coronavirus outbreak.
UPDATE: (7:30 a.m.) According to the Tennessee Department of Revenue, vehicle registration and temporary tags expiring in March or April do not have to be renewed until June 15.
Visit this website to check if you can renew online: secure.tncountyclerk.com
UPDATE: (6:00 a.m.) Ci Ci’s Pizza has announced it will no longer be offering free pizzas to students in an effort not to draw large crowds.
The chain is still offering carryout deals at 4 Memphis locations.
o Three large one-topping pizzas for $10
o One large one-topping pizza for $4.99
Ci Ci’s Pizza Poplar Plaza 3474 Plaza Ave, Memphis, TN 38111 901-343-0202
Ci Ci’s Pizza Bartlett 6600 Stage Rd, Bartlett, TN 38134 901-387-0999
Ci Ci’s Pizza Cordova 1425 Germantown Pkwy, Cordova TN 38016 901-752-5554
Ci Ci’s Pizza Southaven 1055 Goodman Rd, Southaven, MS 38671 662-349-9296
UPDATE: (4:30 a.m.) Below are the latest number of confirmed cases by state for our area:
Tennessee 696- 2 in Dyer County, 2 in Fayette County, 135 in Shelby County, 6 in Tipton County. 2 reported deaths.
All out-of-county residents have been transferred to their local health department jurisdictions. Going forward, Shelby County Health Department will only track resident cases.
Arkansas 232 - 2 in Crittenden County. 2 reported deaths.
Mississippi 320 - 11 in Coahoma County, 29 in DeSoto County, 8 in Lafayette County, 2 in Panola County, 1 in Tate County, 11 in Tippah County, 3 in Tunica County. 1 reported death.
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