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Mid-South coronavirus live updates: Breaking down the latest COVID-19 data in the Mid-South

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

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



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

2:30 p.m. - Watch HERE.

LIVE: Governor Tate Reeves

Today, we are announcing a new program called “ReSkill Mississippi” to help workers get the training for high-paying jobs during this pandemic and economic crisis.

Posted by Tate Reeves on Wednesday, August 5, 2020

(NEWS RELEASE) - Today, Governor Tate Reeves announced launch of the ReSkill Mississippi initiative (ReSkillMS) to help ease the economic burden and uncertainty this pandemic has created for our state's workforce. 

Mississippians who lost their jobs or had severe cutbacks and went on unemployment due to COVID-19 now have the opportunity to receive skills training at Mississippi community colleges to change jobs into high demand careers. Of the $1.25 billion in federal relief funds sent to Mississippi under the CARES Act, the Mississippi legislature appropriated $55 million to support our state's workers and employers, which enabled the Governor and a coalition of the state's workforce leaders to create an innovative new program to train individuals for good-paying jobs most needed right now and into the future.

“While we are in the midst of a public health crisis, we are also fighting this disease on an economic front. Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians have been laid off during this pandemic. Countless Mississippi employers are struggling to make ends meet,” said Governor Tate Reeves. “ReSkill Mississippi is an effort to utilize CARES Act funds to not only get Mississippians back to work, but to get them skills training that will help them work in even better jobs than they may have had before COVID-19.”

ReSkillMS was created as a result of the Governor’s Commission on Economic Recovery's recommendation that significant dollars from the CARES Act recovery funds be used for workforce training to help lift the economic burden on our workforce from COVID-19. The State Workforce Investment Board (SWIB), the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), and Mississippi’s four local workforce areas collaborated to develop the program to allow Mississippians out-of-work or those working reduced hours to “re-skill” in order to fill high-demand, high-paying jobs across our state.

“This program can have a major difference in the lives of Mississippians and in building a stronger economy in our state for the demands of tomorrow’s world,” said SWIB Chairman Patrick Sullivan. “Skilled jobs were in demand before COVID-19, and they will be in demand long after the pandemic is over. Getting more Mississippians the skills for higher paying jobs is going to be key if we are to see sustained economic growth."

The Governor made the announcement at today's press briefing with SWIB Chairman Sullivan, which you can view on our Facebook page here.

The direct beneficiaries of ReSkillMS will be Mississippians furloughed, laid off, or otherwise having economic damages and who received unemployment benefits from MDES, as well as Mississippi employers seeking to hire Mississippians immediately and train them on the job. Employers willing to hire and train individuals in the workplace are eligible to be reimbursed for up to 75% of the individual’s wages during the training period. The program requires a minimum fair wage threshold of $15-per-hour for employers to be eligible for reimbursements.

Individuals and employers interested in the program should go online to ReSkillMS.com to complete the appropriate survey. An official from Mississippi’s workforce offices nearby will reach out to the individual to guide them through the application process. If individuals have not heard from anyone within seven days of submitting an application, they can email ReSkillMS@mdes.ms.gov to follow up.

New Skills =New Careers Mississippi is committed to helping workers who have been displaced by COVID-19. Our training programs can put you in a better financial position that you were in before displacement. We also help employers fill positions with eager applicants-and you could be reimbursed for up to 75% of workers' wages through December ...


1,657 new cases & 27 new deaths in TN; state passes 5,000 hospitalizations

2:00 p.m. - The Tennessee Department of Health reports 1,657 new COVID-19 cases and 27 new deaths, for a total of 114,098 cases and 1,144 deaths in the state.

There have been 5,001 hospitalizations, and 75,550 recoveries. 1,610,604 have been tested in the state.

Find the full breakdown from the Tennessee Department of Health HERE.


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

1:30 p.m. - Watch HERE.

Key facts to know:

  • 46,293 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 6,937 active cases
  • 508 reported deaths 
  • 516 hospitalizations
  • 101 on ventilators
  • 38,848 recoveries

Find the full breakdown from the Arkansas Department of Health HERE.


1,245 new cases & 51 new deaths in MS; 85 new cases in Desoto County

1:00 p.m. - The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 1,245 new COVID-19 cases and 51 new deaths, for a total of 63,444 cases and 1,804 deaths in the state.

Desoto County has 85 new cases and no new deaths, for a total of 3,472 cases and 27 deaths in the county.

Find the full breakdown from the Mississippi State Department of Health HERE.


197 new cases & 7 new deaths in Shelby County; more than 17,200 recoveries

10:00 a.m. - The Shelby County Health Department reports 197 new COVID-19 cases and 7 new deaths, for a total of 22,317 cases and 293 deaths in the county.

There are 17,266 recoveries in Shelby County.

Find the full breakdown from the Shelby County Health Department HERE.


Mid-South Food Bank mobile pantry locations for Wednesday

  • Memphis, Eastside Comm. Church, 1503 Colonial 38117, 10 a.m.
  • Memphis, Idlewild Presbyterian, 1750 Union Ave. 38104, 9 a.m.
  • DeSoto Cty, MS- Haliburton MBC, 14484 DeSoto Rd., Olive Branch 38654, 10 a.m.
  • Lafayette Cty, MS- Providence United Methodist, 126 County Rd. 108, Abbeville 38610, 10 a.m.


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.