The following are basic hygiene practices that can help prevent the spread of viruses like the coronavirus and the flu.
The symptoms that are currently being seen with COVID-19 are fever and respiratory symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath.
You probably have questions like the following (and more). Click the button at the bottom of this box to read through our FAQ (which is updated as needed).
News and Reports
RALEIGH, MS - As Governor Reeves has begun phasing in a reopening plan over the past several weeks, the Board of Supervisors has allowed the local order to expire, and we are pleased to announce that the only restrictions that Smith County is currently enforcing are those that may be set by the state.
It is imperative that individuals use common sense when traveling, shopping, or going to work. No government order can replace your best judgement for what is right for you and your family. We still encourage you to socially distance, travel only when needed, and maintain proper hygiene. Continue to follow CDC guidelines for wearing face coverings.
RALEIGH, MS - Today county officials announced that soon, residents close to Smith County will have the opportunity to schedule a free appointment for a COVID-19 test. On Thursday, April 9, UMMC and the Mississippi State Department of Health will hold one day of drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Smith County Ag Complex in Raleigh. To get an appointment for testing, you must first be screened through the C-Spire Health app. The app, screening, and testing are free of charge. If you do not have a smartphone, you can call 601-496-7200 to be screened for testing eligibility.
RALEIGH, MS - Today at 5:00PM, Mississippi will begin sheltering-in-place pursuant to Executive Order 1466, issued by Governor Tate Reeves on Wednesday, April 1st. With this unprecedented action, many Smith Countians are wondering "what does this mean for me?"
Well, simply put in a broad definition, shelter-in-place means that you are not allowed to leave your home or primary residence for any reason. However, in the case of the coronavirus, there are some exceptions on what you can do, and what you cannot do. It is the intent of the Smith County Emergency Management Agency to make sure you are informed and prepared for the next two weeks.
MIZE, MS - Yesterday, Governor Tate Reeves issued an executive order prohibiting large gatherings of more than 10 people. In compliance with this Executive Order, The Town of Mize is announcing new restrictions on groups of 10 or more from congregating in or at Clear Creek Park. All functions at Clear Creek Park are suspended until further notice. We ask that you, please, cooperate with us in the compliance of this Order. The park will remain open so long as citizens will remain compliant. Please remember that our local restaurants are open and serving takeout meals. Please frequent these businesses when you are in need of a meal. The Town is working hard to make sure we remain safe during this this situation.
TAYLORSVILLE, MS - Mayor Kellie Phipps of Taylorsville announced today that the city had declared a local state of emergency and that city hall would be closing to help mitigate the threat of COVID-19 to city employees. Citizens can still make payments on their water bills or speak to a city hall employee by utilizing the drive-through window during normal business hours from 8AM-5PM. The mayor also stated that Dixie Youth activities at the Taylorsville Sportsplex have been postponed until further notice aswell. She reminds all citizens of Taylorsville to be vigilant, and practice good hygiene as we all tackle the coronavirus threat together.
JACKSON, MS. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first death from coronavirus (COVID-19) in Mississippi. The case was a male 60-65 years old from Hancock County with chronic underlying conditions. He died in a Louisiana hospital.
“As the coronavirus outbreak began claiming lives across the world, we knew this would eventually hit Mississippi. But that doesn’t make it any easier for Mississippi to lose one of our own. Elee and I are praying for all their loved ones and their community as we all deal with this tragic loss,” said Governor Tate Reeves.
RALEIGH, MS - Under the stipulations outlined in the Executive Order issued by Governor Tate Reeves, all Smith County Schools will be closed tentatively until April 17th, 2020. Kindergarten registration is postponed until further notice, and all events except graduation have been cancelled for the remainder of the school year. The district, realizing its role as more than just a school, will be offering to-go lunches as each of its campuses beginning March 24th-27th. The Central Office will be open on a limited schedule during this time.
RALEIGH, MS - According to the State Department of Health, Smith County has confirmed its first case of COVID-19. At this time, we ask that the public DO NOT PANIC. We are in close contact with the CDC, the Mississippi Department of Health and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency monitoring the situation. We will release more information as it becomes available.
RALEIGH, MS - Effective immediately, the Town of Raleigh city hall will be closed until further notice. As the situation with the coronavirus outbreak changes by the moment, it is most important that we protect our town employees and the residents of our community. Any utility payments may be made by placing them in the drop box however, the town will not be cutting off any services due to late payments. I strongly encourage all of our residents to stay home. We must work together to protect each other during this time. If you have any needs, please contact the mayor at 601-323-1174.
RALEIGH, MS - After careful consideration and guidance from local, state and federal authorities today, Sheriff Joel Houston announced that the Smith County Sheriff's Office is suspending visitation at the Smith County Jail. The SO has been strongly advised to limit exposure to the inmates and employees. There have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Smith County, the purpose of the extra precautionary measures is to limit access to large gatherings and groups of people. I’m asking everyone to take their own preventative measures around large groups of people and areas where people could be at risk. Other than these changes, we will continue serving the citizens of Smith County. Please reach out if there is any way we can assist you.
JACKSON, MS — The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) announced today that the agency will continue to offer core public health services with some slight changes amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The Mississippi State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory has been and will continue to operate seven days a week running test samples. The distribution centers for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program will remain open but will be limiting visits to two clients at a time inside the warehouse. County health departments will remain open with current business hours. However, anyone with fever and a cough or difficulty breathing should not come inside the county health departments and should instead call their primary healthcare provider for further instruction. As a reminder, the county health departments do not conduct COVID-19 testing. Physicians, healthcare providers and clinics should test patients according to the guidelines and submit specimens to the MSDH Public Health Laboratory.
CLINTON, MS - To protect the health and safety of our students and communities, the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) is suspending all sanctioned contests and activities due to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Mississippi. This policy was put in place after a conference call with the MHSAA Executive Committee on Monday morning. The Executive Committee is made up of 15 school administrators from around the state. Effective immediately, March 16, all MHSAA interscholastic sports and fine-arts activities competition and practice is suspended through March 29 and until further notice. This suspension applies whether or not a school is open or closed during this timeline.
JACKSON, MS. - Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the second and third presumptive positive cases of coronavirus or COVID-19 in Mississippi. Final verification will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One case is a Forrest County adult female over 65 who recently traveled to North Carolina. The patient has been hospitalized. The other case is a Forrest County adult male who recently traveled to Florida and has been self-isolating at home without hospitalization.
RALEIGH. MS. - The Smith County School District is actively in communication with local and state healthcare and government officials in response to the evolving threat presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The District’s number one concern is the safety of our students, staff, and community. We ask that everyone continue to follow the guidance of the Mississippi State Department of Health, and check in with our social media pages daily for important updates on school activities.
JACKSON, MS. — Tonight the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports its first presumptive positive case of coronavirus or COVID-19. Final verification will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs will release additional information and guidelines to Mississippians at an 11:00 press conference tomorrow morning.
PEARL, MS. – MEMA is assisting the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) in its response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We will help coordinate any additional resources MSDH may have during their planning, response and recovery stages. Like we prepare for hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters, MEMA is prepared for health emergencies as well.
MEMA urges residents to prepare for Coronavirus, COVID-19, like they would prepare for any other disaster that Mississippi encounters. We encourage Mississippians to keep a disaster supply kit ready at all times throughout the year. The CDC says washing your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds is one of the best defenses.
For all media inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Links and Resources
> Mississippi Department of Health
> Center for Disease Control
> World Health Organization
> John Hopkins: Map of Global Cases
> University of Mississippi Office of the Provost
> University of Southern Mississippi Office of the Provost
> Mississippi State University Office of the Provost
Need Help or More Info?
If you have questions or need additional information about coronavirus and Mississippi, the information below will provide you with a hotline dedicated to COVID-19.
Mississippi State Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline: 877-978-6453
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.