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Mid-South coronavirus updates: TN has nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases, 254 in Shelby County

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


City of Memphis Friday morning COVID-19 update

8:54 a.m. - Shelby County now has 254 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There are 957 cases in the State of Tennessee. There have been three deaths in the state, with 76 hospitalized. So far, there have been 14,909 tests taken in Tennessee.

Memphis Mayor issues daily COVID-19 update

3:15 p.m. - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland issued his daily COVID-19 update. It focuses on emergency cash help from the TN Department of Human Services, Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, and questions to answers from citizens.

Find the update HERE.


Two mobile testing sites for Friday only in Desoto and Coahoma counties

2:45 p.m. - From DeSoto County Supervisors: Desoto County residents who need to be tested for COVID-19 can go to a mobile testing site set up by the Mississippi Department of Health. Lewisburg neighborhoods concerned about traffic, can be assured law enforcement and national guardsmen will be in place for traffic control measures.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) and the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) will open two mobile COVID-19 testing sites for one day only on Friday, March 27. Testing is free of charge.

The sites will be at the following locations in DeSoto and Coahoma counties and open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Coahoma Expo Center
    • 1150 Wildcat Drive
    • Clarksdale, Mississippi
  • Lewisburg High School
    • 1755 Craft Road
    • Olive Branch, Mississippi

Find more on the mobile testing HERE.


Tennessee Department of Health reports 957 COVID-19 cases in state

2:00 p.m. - The Tennessee Department of Health says there are 957 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state as of Thursday afternoon. 

Most of the cases are in the 21 to 30 age range. 

TDH says 14,909 people have been tested. Of those, 957 are positive, and 13,952 are negative for COVID-19.

Find more from the Tennessee Department of Health HERE.


Mississippi State Department of Health reports sixth COVID-19 death

12:00 p.m. - (MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH) - Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one new death from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mississippi, bringing the state total to six.

The case was a Rankin County male 80-85 with underlying conditions. He died while hospitalized.

Deaths have been previously reported in Hancock, Holmes, Tunica, Webster and Wilkinson counties.

Note: Further COVID-19 deaths in Mississippi will be reported daily alongside the case counts on MSDH's COVID-19 web pages.


Arkansas Department of Health recommends 14-day self-quarantine for travelers from New York & international cities

11:30 a.m. - (ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH) - ADH is now recommending self home quarantine for 14 days for all travelers from New York State and all international locations. This is due to high rates of COVID-19 in New York as well as in a growing number of international locations. In the interest of the public health, all travelers who return from one of these locations are advised to quarantine at home for 14 days, starting from the date they left that location. If you develop fever, cough, or other symptom of COVID-19, you should contact your doctor for advice on where to be evaluated.

You can find details of home quarantine here: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-guidance-for-self-home-quarantine

Briefly, home quarantine includes these steps:

  • Remain at home and avoid all public activities. This means do not go to work, church, school, stores (including grocery stores), nor any public events or places.
  • Do not have visitors in your home.
  • If you live in a home with other people, stay in a separate room. If that is not possible, wear a face mask when you are in the same room and stay at least 6 feet away from them.
  • Wash your hands and use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer often. Do not share personal items such as dishes, cups, forks, spoons, towels, etc.
  • Do not leave your home except to get medical care. If you need to see a doctor for reasons other than a medical emergency, please call us at your medical provider to discuss the care you need.
  • In the event of a medical emergency, call 911. Tell them that you are in self home quarantine for novel coronavirus exposure. Keep a face mask on until a health care provider asks you to remove it.
  • Do not use any public transportation (buses, taxis, ride share services, or airplane).
  • Check yourself for fever twice a day. This means taking your temperature in the morning and before bed at night. Write it down in a log or piece of paper.

For other COVID-19 questions, visit https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus .


Mississippi reports 485 total cases; 49 in Desoto County - 5 deaths in state

10:15 a.m. - The Mississippi State Department of Heath says there are 108 new cases of COVID-19 in the state. 13 of those cases are in Desoto County - making it a total of 49 there.

Mississippi's total number of coronavirus cases is now at 485, with five deaths, all in older adults. 

The two latest deaths were a Wilkinson County male 85-90 years old with underlying conditions who died while hospitalized, and a Tunica County female 75-80 who died in a long-term care facility. Deaths have also been reported in Hancock, Holmes and Webster counties. 

More details and important preventive steps at HealthyMS.com/covid-19.


DeSoto County ordinances due to COVID-19

10:00 a.m. - The Desoto County Economic Development Council is providing an update on ordinances that have been passed due to COVID-19.


198 COVID-19 cases in Shelby County; 784 reported in Tennessee

9:00 a.m. - The City of Memphis now says there are 198 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Shelby County. 784 have been reported in the state of Tennessee as of Thursday morning.

Find more from the City of Memphis' COVID site HERE.

Find the Shelby County Health Department's information HERE.

Find latest from Tennessee Department of Health HERE.


Arkansas reports 310 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 2 deaths

(KTHV) - As of 8:15 a.m. on Thursday, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 310 COVID-19 cases throughout the state. 

On Wednesday, March 25, Arkansas saw the largest increase of cases in one day with 76.

Gov. Hutchinson said the Arkansas Medical Board has been expedited the licenses for medical and healthcare professionals to meet the need and urgency of the current health crisis.

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced the city of Little Rock will have an extended city-wide curfew from 9 pm. - 5 a.m.

Key facts to know:

  • 310 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 1,814 total tests
  • 1,504 negative test results
  • 2 reported deaths
  • All public schools are closed until April 17

Find more from the AR Department of Health HERE.

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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.