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


Mississippi reports 1,646 new cases and 40 deaths over last 5 days/ Desoto County has 912 cases & 14 deaths total

2:00 p.m. - The Mississippi State Department of Health reports a combined total of 1,646 new cases of COVID-19 in the state and 40 deaths for the five days from June 17 to June 21. The total of coronavirus cases since March 11 is now 22,287, with 978 deaths. 

Desoto County has 912 cases and 14 deaths total.

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


Germantown masks distribution this week

(NEWS RELEASE) - The City of Germantown still has a limited supply of personal protective masks from the State of Tennessee to distribute to residents and members of the business community. The Germantown Fire Department will be distributing masks to the business community on Thursday, June 25, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Pickering Center, 7771 Poplar Pike. The community distribution will take place on Saturday, June 27 from 1 to 5 p.m at the Pickering Center.

Masks will be distributed on a first come, first served basis until supplies run out. The masks are available to Germantown residents and Germantown-based businesses only. Residents will be asked to show a valid driver license. Masks are limited to one per individual and a maximum of five per family.

See attached for a map with directions on how traffic will flow through the Pickering Center parking lot. Please use Melanie Smith lane to the west and pull through the parking lot while remaining in your vehicle. GFD personnel will approach your vehicle to verify your information and request details. Once you have obtained your masks, please exit out the driveway to the east behind the Tennessee Genealogy Society.

Credit: City of Germantown


Tennessee reports 451 new cases & 5 new deaths; more than 23,500 recoveries

2:00 p.m. - The Tennessee Department of Health reports 451 new COVID-19 cases and 5 new deaths, for a total of 35,553 cases and 531 deaths in the state.

There are 2,301 hospitalizations, and 23,567 have recovered. 699,854 have been tested in the state.

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


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

Watch HERE at 1:30 p.m.

(KTHV) - In the first week of Phase Two, Arkansas saw a total of 3,060 new coronavirus cases.

In the second phase, restaurants and businesses are allowed to fill up to two-thirds capacity and Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that nursing home visitations will continue on July 1.

Hutchinson has also issued a new guidance on face masks in the state, but has yet to make it a requirement to wear them in public settings.

Key facts to know:

  • 15,561 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas
  • 4,880 active cases
  • 225 reported deaths 
  • 244 hospitalizations
  • 59 on ventilators
  • 10,456 recoveries


Mask Up Memphis Initiative announced Monday

Monday morning a new initiative called Mask Up Memphis was announced.  The initiative is spearheaded by State Senator Raumesh Akbari and Tennessee Dist. 87 State Representative Karen Camper, along with several local organizations including the City of Memphis.

"Mask Up and Live" launched in Chicago in April and stresses the importance of wearing face coverings, which Memphis' initiative is based on.

Click here for the Mask Up Memphis website and social media challenge encouraging African Americans to wear masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


210 new cases & zero new deaths in Shelby County (8,094 cases/164 deaths total); 5,515 recoveries

10:00 a.m. - The Shelby County Health Department reports 210 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths, for a total of 8,094 cases and 164 deaths in the county.

There have been 5,515 recoveries.

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


Tennessee high school equivalency exams move to online format

(9:40 a.m.) - Starting Monday, June 22, Tennesseans working to obtain a high school equivalency diploma can register to take their exams at home via a new online program, HiSET Exam at Home. This program makes the test accessible while many testing centers are closed due to COVID-19.

The online exams proctoring service, ProctorU, are identical to HiSET exams taken in physical testing centers in terms of content, format, on-screen experience and scoring. Each of the features test takers experience in testing centers, such as the ability to preview, skip questions, review and change answers, are available with the online exam.

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s HiSET Voucher Program covers all costs associated with the exams. To receive a voucher from a local Adult Education program, a test taker must be a Tennessee resident and demonstrate test preparedness through a qualifying practice test.

If you are interested in completing the HiSET Exam at Home program, you should contact your local Adult Education provider. You can find a list of local providers here.

To utilize the HiSET Exam at Home option and associated vouchers, you must be at least 18 years old and your computer and testing room must meet the remote proctoring requirements. You can find a list of those requirements here.


Shelby County Health Dept. wants your opinion on wearing face masks to protect yourself


Mid-South Food Bank mobile pantries for Monday, June 22

  • Shelby Cty, Focus Humanitarian, 10660 Collierville Rd, Collierville 38017, 10:30 a.m.
  • Tate Cty, MS- Second Baptist, 716 Forest Circle Coldwater,  38618 10 a.m.
  • Memphis, Kingdom Fellowship Baptist, 3777 Edenburg Drive, 11 a.m.
  • Madison Cty, TN- Light of the Nations International, 173 Roosevelt Pkwy, Jackson 38301, 11 a.m.

Bring driver’s license OR a current utility or other bill that verifies name and address in the county where the distribution takes place. You will be asked to fill out a short eligibility form.  Only two households per vehicle please. If you are picking up for someone else, you must have their ID and they count as one household.  Take note of Mobile Pantries that require pre-registration.

Food is placed in the back seat, trunk or truck bed by volunteers, so be sure you have space. 

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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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