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Governor declares state of emergency amid coronavirus outbreak

Photo courtesy of Gov. Tate Reeves's Office
Photo courtesy of Gov. Tate Reeves’s Office

As the number of coronavirus cases in Mississippi continues to grow, Governor Tate Reeves has declared a state of emergency. 

In a news release, the Governor stated that this declaration will “further ramp up Mississippi’s coordinated response across all levels of government and provide health officials and administrators with the necessary tools and guidance to combat the spread of COVID-19.”

“Taking proactive measures to limit community spread, I have declared a state of emergency to deploy the necessary resources to protect public health and take care of all Mississippians. We are not taking any chances. This is our latest step to respond to COVID-19, and it will not be our last. We will continue coordinating our response efforts and prioritizing the health and well-being for all who call Mississippi home,” Governor Reeves said.

During an address to the state, Governor Reeves asked that schools across the state extend Spring Break by at least one week as Mississippi enacts its response plan to the virus. The final decision to close schools ultimately lies with the individual school districts.  For a running list of closures, click here

Drivers License Services and several other government offices will be temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the virus. 

The Governor and his family returned from Spain last night, and while he stated they are all symptom-free, he will work from home for the next 14 days. 

As officials continue to recommend the limitation of social gatherings, Governor Reeves is instructing churches to refrain from holding large in-person services. 

He also urged everyone who has the ability to do so, to work from home. 

Currently, Mississippi has 6 confirmed cases of the virus after its first case was reported on Wednesday. Governor Reeves said that the number of cases will rise, but Mississippi is properly prepared with tests and other resources as they follow the plan in place. 

“I urge all Mississippians to use caution. This is not a time to panic—we are acting calmly and steadily. In this state, we were prepared. We have a pandemic plan that is being followed to the letter. We have tremendous experts who are operating in a way that will protect the public health and save lives. We are listening to those experts, and following their lead every step of the way,” said Governor Reeves.

For additional information from the Department of Health, click here. 

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