TIMELINE: Mid-South coronavirus updates April 7

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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 Tuesday, April 7

UPDATE: (8:55 p.m.) The Tennessee Board of Education announced emergency rules for the requirements seniors need in order to graduate.

Now, seniors on track to graduate will only need to earn 20 credits instead of 22. The Board also waived the ACT and SAT score graduation requirements.

The board will vote on the changes at a special meeting on Thursday.

UPDATE: (7:55 p.m.) There are 997 total cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas according to the state’s Department of Health. That includes 61 positive cases in Crittenden County and 28 in St. Francis County.

UPDATE: (5:35 p.m.) Arkansas health officials confirmed residents and workers at Willowbend Healthcare and Rehab tested positive for COVID-19. There were nine residents and two employees who tested positive. They are under quarantine in the facility. All employees and residents are being tested.

UPDATE: (5:00 p.m.) Cathead Vodka will give away free bottles of hand sanitizer to the city of Oxford. They will be given at two separate drive-thru locations, City Hall and Jac/Old Mall. There is a limit to one bottle of sanitizer per car. It will begin tomorrow at 9 a.m. until supplies run out.

UPDATE: (4:20 p.m.) U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi announced that 19 community health centers in the state will receive more than $17.25 million to support their efforts to provide care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding comes from the passing of the CARES Act.

“Mississippi community health centers are on the front lines of testing and treating patients for COVID-19," Hyde-Smith said. "As this disease affects more Mississippians, the pressure on these centers will only increase. These grants represent an initial distribution of federal funding to support their work in these challenging times.”

UPDATE: (3:00 p.m.) Governor Bill Lee gave his daily press briefing about how Tennessee continues to combat the coronavirus in the state.

There are reports of encouraging news about the spread of the virus is slowing in the country and Tennessee, the governor said.

There are 466 recovered cases in the state.

The state is expected to release the percentage of cases and percentage of deaths by race by the end of the week.

The state has received the 5-minute COVID-19 tests today and will be distributed sometime in the next week.

The governor said those who are applying for unemployment, there have been over 250,000 claims.

The state is ready to respond to 100,000 of those claims.

The federal government said some of the CARES Act provisions will be released next week.

The state is working to make unemployment available for those who are self-employed.

The state now has more than 200 people helping to file claims and are working on upgrades on the website and systems to file those claims.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Federal Unemployment Pandemic Assistance, which provides the $600 extra from the federal government, have been launched for those who have filed for unemployment.

Those who have already filed for unemployment will receive back pay of the $600 a week.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan to keep payroll for small businesses and to make sure the small businesses keep all their employees.

If they keep them on for at least eight weeks, the loan will be forgiven.

The program started Friday and is funded by local Tennessee banks.

Businesses should expect a delay in loan payment because it is still in the middle of getting it off the ground.

Banks will verify those asking for a loan and payroll documentation.

Small businesses should contact their banks if you are interested in a loan.

UPDATE: (2:25 p.m.) Governor Bill Lee made an announcement about those filing for help during this crisis.

UPDATE: (2:00 p.m.) The Tennessee Department of Health updated the number of confirmed cases Tuesday.

There are now 4138 confirmed cases in the state, 72 deaths, 408 hospitalizations, and 466 recoveries.

There have also been 52,874 tests administered.

UPDATE: (1:30 p.m.) Governor Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas gave his daily press briefing on how the state plans to combat the coronavirus.

There are 946 cases of the coronavirus in Arkansas.

In the last 24 hours, there have been over 1,400 tests administered.

The state has 2.5 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

Heart Hospital has donated 500 tests through ABBOT Labs for healthcare workers, specifically.

The racial breakdown is 67 percent white and 23 percent African American.

There are 134 healthcare workers, 61 in nursing homes, 74 hospitalized, 26 ventilated who have the coronavirus.

The state has had 18 deaths, but 152 people have recovered.

Forrest City Federal Correctional Facility has 24 inmates who have COVID-19 and some staff. The CDC is expected tomorrow, officials confirmed.

UPDATE: (12:00 p.m.) The Coronavirus Task Force of Shelby County held its daily COVID-19 briefing Tuesday afternoon.

Mayor Lee Harris announced the Shelby County Mayor’s Action Center will be receiving all calls from residents who want to complain about those who are not complying with the social distancing rules.

The Shelby County Health Department reported an additional death, which makes a total of 19 deaths.

At each testing center, they are working to be able to isolate those being tested quicker and more efficiently.

UPDATE: (11:55 a.m.) The Cross County, Ark. Sheriff’s Office is offering assistance to elderly and handicapped persons during the current pandemic, according to a Facebook post.

If you are unable to go to the store to retrieve essential items please call the Cross County Sheriff’s Office at 870-238-5700.

The Department is only able to provide this service if it is pre-ordered and paid for, according to the post.

Hays Food Town and Walmart offer in-store pick up ordering services.

This service is offered between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

UPDATE: (11:09 a.m.) House Representative Steve Cohen said in a meeting today that stimulus checks should be going out to taxpayers in a week or two.

Supplemental Security Income and disability should go out the following week.

He also said a bill has been filed to ensure SSI recipients don’t have to file taxes to get money.




UPDATE: (11:02 a.m.) The Dyersburg Police Department has reported four of its members have been tested for COVID-19.

Two people tested positive; two people tested negative, according to a DPD Facebook post.

UPDATE: (10:05 a.m.) Mississippi health officials are reporting 177 new cases of COVID-19.

There have been eight more deaths, according to officials.

There are 1,915 cases in the state with 59 total deaths.


UPDATE: (9:50 a.m.) Panola County, Miss. issued a curfew yesterday, according to a Facebook post by the Panola County Sheriff’s Office.

The curfew is from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to the post.

The curfew will continue until further notice.

Residents are asked to travel for essential needs only.

According to the post, the curfew excludes towns that have not passed a curfew.

UPDATE: (9:30 a.m.) The Memphis Botanic Garden launched its first online portal today to sell plants, according to a press release.

This online effort is meant to replace the annual Spring Plant Sale, which has been a favorite of Memphians in April for years.

The Nursery at the Garden online portal is open to the public and can be found at MemphisBotanicGarden.com/Nursery.

Plant categories include Perennials, Annuals, Trees and Shrubs, Blooming Bulbs, and House Plants, according to the press release.

More products will be added daily! Orders must be placed online (only), paid for at the time order, and be scheduled for a pick-up time within 24 hours of order placement.

Orders will be brought to customers’ cars and loaded in by MBG staff, according to the press release.

Pick-up times range from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday (closed Good Friday).

UPDATE: (9:17 a.m.) Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced that beginning today, the Shelby County Mayor’s Action Center will receive calls regarding violations of the County’s health directive or executive order, according to a press release.

All of Shelby County, including the municipalities and the unincorporated areas, are under Safer at Home orders.

UPDATE: (9 a.m.) Businesses at Laurelwood Shopping Center will not have to pay April rent, according to Cory Prewitt, President of the shopping center.

Prewitt said the Center forgave both rent and common-area fees for the month due to the coronavirus pandemic.

UPDATE: (8:46 a.m.) Yesterday, Christ Community Health Services expanded its COVID-19 testing to 200 people a day at its Third Street clinic, according to a press release.

The clinic is located at 3362 S 3rd St, Memphis, TN 38109.

Testing is by appointment only.

The clinic is open Monday-Saturday from 2-4 p.m., according to the press release.

Since testing began March 21, Christ Community has tested over 400 individuals and assessed over 2,000 potential cases over the phone.

Anyone wishing to be assessed to be tested, please text “Test2020” to 91999 or call 901-842-3160 to discuss getting a test.

UPDATE: (8:40 a.m.) Arkansas health officials are reporting 932 cases of COVID-19 in the state this morning.

There have been 142 recoveries from COVID-19 in the state.

UPDATE: (8:20 a.m.) The City of Memphis has modified its removal of out-of-the-cart waste and trash, effective immediately.

Out-of-the-cart trash removal is suspended until further notice, with the exception of yard waste.

All household waste and trash must be placed inside a garbage cart for collection.

An additional garbage cart can be leased for $10 per month. Call 311 to get an additional cart.

The City is requesting any COVID-19-contaminated waste to be double-bagged.


UPDATES: (8:10 a.m.) There are 845 cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County, according to City of Memphis officials.

There have been 5 new deaths, for a total of 18 in the county.

UPDATE: (7:40 a.m.) Walgreens announced plans to open 15 drive-thru testing locations across seven states, including Tennessee, later this week, according to Forbes and CNBC.

The sites will also be located in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana and Texas, according to the reports.

Walgreens reportedly said it worked with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to select locations based on where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

Up to 3,000 people per day can be tested.

The drive-thru testing sites will use Abbott Laboratories’ rapid COVID-19 test, according to the reports.

UPDATE: (6:50 a.m.) Nissan will furlough most of its hourly manufacturing employees at plants in Tennessee and Mississippi today, according to CNN.

Around 10,000 workers will be furloughed, according to the report.

The plants are located in Canton, Miss.; Smyrna, Tenn. and Decherd, Tenn.

Nissan is asking furloughed employees to apply for unemployment through at least April 27, when the company plans to restart production, according to CNN.

Nissan closed its US plants on March 20.

UPDATE: (6:40 a.m.) Beginning today, Kroger stores nationwide will post limits on the number of shoppers allowed inside a store at a given time to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, Kroger said the shopper limits will vary by store size.

UPDATE: (6:30 a.m.) Elwood’s Shack will be delivering food today to front-line staff at St. Francis-Bartlett.

The initiative is part of Elwood’s Challenge, which feeds healthcare workers around the city.

The meals will be delivered today at 3 p.m.

UPDATE: (5:50 a.m.) Hotels, motels and short-term rentals in Arkansas have been told to refuse occupancy to recreational out-of-state travelers during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Hutchinson issued an executive order prohibiting commercial lodgers and short-term vacation rentals from providing occupancy to out-of-state recreational visitors. The order is designed to restrict travel from out-of-state travelers in order to limit the spread of the

UPDATE: (5:35 a.m.) The Mid-South Food Bank will be distributing food today through its Mobile Pantry at the following locations:

Memphis, Hickory Hill Community Center 4955 Cottonwood Rd. 10 a.m.

Memphis, For the Kingdom, 4100 Raleigh-Millington Rd. 11:30 a.m.

Memphis, Iglesia Nueva Vida, 1348 National 38112, 10 a.m.

Memphis, Mt. Zion MBC, 793 W. Peebles Rd. 38109, 10 a.m.

Madison County, TN, Unity Temple, 369 Lexington Ave in Jackson 9 a.m.

UPDATE: (5 a.m.) Below are the latest numbers by state for our area:

Tennessee 3,802 - 9 cases in Dyer County. 21 cases in Fayette County. 6 cases in Hardeman County. 766 cases in Shelby County. 36 cases in Tipton County.

In Tennessee, 65 people have died due to the coronavirus and 356 people have recovered.

The Tennessee Department of Health has reported 352 total hospitalizations due to the coronavirus.

In Tennessee, 47,350 people have been tested for the virus.

Arkansas 927 - 58 cases in Crittenden County.

In Arkansas, 16 people have died due to the coronavirus.

According to state health officials, 74 people are currently hospitalized due to the coronavirus.

In Arkansas, 13,264 people have been tested for the virus. 139 people have recovered.

Mississippi 1,738 - 29 in Coahoma County. 136 in DeSoto County. 22 in Lafayette County. 17 in Panola County. 16 in Tate County. 36 in Tippah County. 18 in Tunica County.

In Mississippi, 51 have died due to the coronavirus. 20,370 have been tested for the virus across the state.

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