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Mid-South coronavirus live updates: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee gives update on COVID-19 response in the state

With more news coming in every hour about the coronavirus, this post will update you with the latest you need to know.
Credit: WATN

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus and cases are spreading around the Mid-South since the virus arrived in the United States in February.

At Local 24, our coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit our coronavirus section for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about COVID-19, learn more about the symptoms, and keep tabs on the cases around the world here.

We will continue to track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Memphis and the Mid-South on this page. Refresh often for new information


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee gives update on COVID-19 response in the state

3:00 p.m. - Watch HERE.


Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves gives update on COVID-19 response in the state

2:30 p.m. - Watch HERE.

LIVE: Governor Tate Reeves COVID-19 Response

This is a historic unemployment crisis, as well as a public health crisis. We must handle both. Today, we are going to address the 8,000 percent increase in unemployment in our state.

Posted by Tate Reeves on Thursday, April 9, 2020


Tennessee reports more than 4,600 cases & 94 deaths

2:00 p.m. - The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) reports confirmed 4,634 COVID-19 cases in the state, with 94 deaths.

505 patients are hospitalized, and 921 have recovered.

59,849 people have been tested, and 55,215 of those are negative.

Find more from the Tennessee Department of Health HERE.


Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson gives update on COVID-19 response in the state

1:30 p.m. - Watch HERE.


Free meals for Raleigh families

1:15 p.m. - Refuge-Memphis and Merge Memphis team up with Empathy Café and some volunteers to get meals to families.

The organizations are hosting a curbside pick-up meals event Friday, April 10th for the residents of Raleigh from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 3385 Austin Peay Hwy.

All locals are invited, just drive up. You will be asked to provide your name, address, email address, and number of members in your household that are receiving a meal.


Merge Memphis

Empathy Café 


Memphis & Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force update

12:00 p.m. - COVID-19 Joint Task Force update with Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris, Doug McGowen, Chief Operating Officer, City of Memphis and the Shelby County Health Department. 

Watch HERE.

April 9 City of Memphis/Shelby County Joint Covid Task Force Update

April 9, 2020 City of Memphis/Shelby County Joint Covid Task Force Update

Posted by City of Memphis on Thursday, April 9, 2020

Find Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland's daily update letter HERE.


Arkansas reports 1,077 confirmed cases; 18 deaths

As of 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed 1,077 positive COVID-19 cases throughout the state.

There have now been 18 total coronavirus deaths in Arkansas. Four of the deaths in Arkansas are in the 19-64 year-old age range. The rest are over the age of 65.

Key facts to know:

  • 1,077 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 14,909 total tests
  • 13,832 negative test results
  • 18 reported deaths
  • 237 recoveries
  • All Arkansas schools are closed for the remainder of the school year

Find more from the Arkansas Department of Health HERE.


MATA reports first employee that tested positive for COVID-19

10:15 a.m. - (MATA NEWS RELEASE) - The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) today announced that an employee has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Information about this confirmed case has been shared with the entire MATA workforce via written communication on April 7, 2020.

The employee – who last worked on March 30, 2020 at the MATA Administration Complex located at 1370 Levee Road – did not work directly with the public. The employee was part of a custodial detail located inside of the Administration Building and wore appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).   

The employee appears to be asymptomatic and remains quarantined at home. The employee is not expected to return to work until April 18 or later depending on the medical condition and clearance from medical providers.   

As an extra precaution, every area where the employee cleaned inside the Administration Building has again been thoroughly disinfected. As the disease continues to spread, MATA will continue performing its daily facilities, fleet and bus shelter cleanings which includes comprehensive disinfecting and sanitizing measures. 


Mississippi reports more than 2,200 cases & 76 deaths

1:05 a.m. - The Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting 257 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi, with nine new deaths. The total of coronavirus cases since March 11 is now 2,260, with 76 deaths. 

Deosoto County currently has 150 cases total, and one death.

Find more from the Mississippi Department of Health HERE.


949 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Shelby County; 23 deaths

10:00 a.m. - The Shelby County Health Department has updated to 949 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, with 23 deaths.

10,642 people have been tested.

Credit: Shelby County Health Department

Find more from the Shelby County Health Department HERE.


8:45 a.m. - The City of Memphis says there are now 912 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County as of Thursday morning. There are 21 deaths.

9,913 tests have been administered in Shelby County, with just over 9% positive.

In Tennessee, there were 4,362 cases confirmed as of Wednesday afternoon, with 79 deaths. 56,618 people have been tested in the state, with 7.70% testing positive.

Find more from the City of Memphis COVID-19 site HERE.


Lakeside Launches Stress and Anxiety Hotline during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Lakeside has launched a new Stress & Anxiety Hotline that can be accessed by anyone in the community who needs to talk to a clinician. This hotline will be answered 24/7 for the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The phone number is 901.322.7624. Lakeside encourages anyone in the community who needs additional support during this time to call the number to speak to a Lakeside clinician.

In addition to the hotline, Lakeside will continue to maintain its 24/7 Intake and Referral Line at 901.377.4733 and will accept walk-in and referral patients during this time. Lakeside is fully operational and continues to provide treatment to our patients.


COVID-19 takes the life of a FedEx pilot

A FedEx MD-11 pilot has died from COVID-19.

According to a FedEx spokesperson, the pilot was on a domestic flight on March 7, but, did not have symptoms at that time.

FedEx statement: "The FedEx family is deeply saddened by the loss of our team member, and our thoughts and condolences are with our colleague’s family, friends and co-workers at this difficult time.”

According to a letter sent out to FedEx pilots, the pilot who died was Paul Fox. The letter goes on to say that they have had 14 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date.

Statement from Airline Pilots Association: “ALPA is deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague who passed away after testing positive for COVID-19, and we send our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. As frontline aviation professionals continue to put themselves in harm's way to provide an essential service to our country, it is imperative that federal regulators and airlines take all necessary health and safety measures to ensure the safety of flight crews. ALPA remains vigilant in our efforts to safeguard the health and well-being of our pilots, and we continue to call on the FAA and airlines to ensure a safe and healthy work place to limit the spread of the coronavirus for those who must travel.”

RELATED: FedEx founder/CEO Fred Smith takes temporary 91% pay reduction to help company

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Coronavirus in Context: 

The symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80-percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. 
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

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