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COVID-19 confirmed in 5 inmates at East Mississippi Correctional Facility

Restrictions extended for Lauderdale County

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COVID-19 confirmed in 5 inmates at East Mississippi Correctional Facility Restrictions extended for Lauderdale County

East Mississippi Correctional Facility

As Gov. Tate Reeves extends restrictions for Lauderdale and four other counties until June 8, two facilities housing inmates in Meridian are reporting confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Five inmates at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

A correctional officer at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility also tested positive last week, the sheriff's department said Friday.

The officer has been under quarantine, according to Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun.

No other staff or inmates have tested positive and anyone coming into the jail is being screened, Calhoun said.

Visitors are still not permitted at the jail, according to the sheriff's department.

Reeves extended an executive order Friday that applies to Lauderdale, Neshoba, Jasper, Holmes and Wayne counties.

According to the order, employees of all businesses should be screened daily and must wear a mask if they cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

In retail businesses, all customers must wear a mask, as well as employees who come in direct contact with customers, the order states.

Everyone in public must maintain 6 feet of distance from others and those attending outdoor public events, such as live auctions or flea markets, will be required to wear a mask.

Group gatherings and activities are limited to 10 people inside and 20 people outside.

The governor announced Wednesday that all businesses in Mississippi will be permitted to reopen Monday, June 1 with certain restrictions.

The Safe Return order is in effect at 8 a.m Monday until Monday, June 15.

Reeves is also allowing museums, movie theaters, libraries, bowling alleys and ballparks to open Monday.

Indoor places of amusement must be deep-cleaned before they can open and no more than 50% of maximum capacity is allowed.

Bowling balls, trampolines and other equipment used by customers must be sanitized after each use.

Event Zona and Rebound Trampoline Park in Meridian plans to reopen Monday for the first time since mid-March, according to manager Jim Walker.

Staff will be wearing masks and deep cleaning the building and customers will be asked to wear masks in certain areas, he said.

The Mississippi Arts + Entertainment Experience will open on Tuesday with no-touch measures, according to a news release.

Staff are required to wear masks and guests will be asked to wear them and practice social distancing.

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For youth sports, players must be screened by a coach before entering the field, dugouts are closed and parents and guardians must remain in their cars during practice, according to the governor's order.

Visits to hospitals and nursing homes remain prohibited with some exceptions, like visits to patients receiving end-of-life care or maternity patients.

Reception halls, conference centers and playgrounds may reopen, along with public school buildings used for summer programs, under the order.

While playgrounds and basketball courts remain closed in Meridian, Mayor Percy Bland said Friday that he expected they would open soon.

Mississippi health officials reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 in Lauderdale County Friday, for a total of 730 and one additional death, for a total of 59.

COVID-19 confirmed in 5 inmates at East Mississippi Correctional Facility Restrictions extended for Lauderdale County

Mississippi Department of Health

Mississippi COVID-19 map posted May 29.

As of Friday, Anderson Regional Medical Center reported it was hospitalizing 21 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Rush Foundation Hospital is not reporting daily COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 418 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi Friday – the highest daily increase reported so far – for a total of 14,790. Health officials reported 17 additional deaths, for a total of 710 deaths statewide.

Four of the deaths occurred between May 11 and May 15 and were identified from death certificate reports, MSDH said.

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