UPDATED 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 5:

A second person from Lauderdale County has died from COVID-19, according to the Mississippi Department of Health.

The department reported Sunday morning 183 new cases of COVID-19 in Mississippi for a state total of 1,638. Eight new deaths were reported for a total of 43. The numbers reflect those identified by labs reporting to the state by 6 p.m. Saturday, April 4.

Mississippi COVID-19 map April 5, 2020

The Mississippi Department of Health reported 183 cases of COVID-19 and eight new deaths Sunday morning, April 5., 2020.

Lauderdale County reports a total of 65 COVID-19 cases; Neshoba 9, Newton 7; Clarke 5 and Kemper 5. None of the Mississippi counties neighboring Lauderdale County have reported deaths.

The state reports three outbreaks in Lauderdale County long-term care facilities. There's one outbreak in Newton County. The Department of Health considers only one COVID-19 case among residents and staff an outbreak because of the high risk to anyone in poor health.

Anderson Regional Medical Center reported Sunday morning it has hospitalized 12 patients with COVID-19.

Lauderdale County experienced its first death attributed to COVID-19 as the state spent its first day under Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order.

The death was reported Saturday in the Mississippi Department of Health's daily morning update.

The state reported 97 new cases and six new deaths in statistics released Saturday. The numbers reflect tests completed by 6 p.m. Friday and include both health department tests and tests reported to the state by outside laboratories.

In total, 1,455 cases and 35 deaths have been reported in Mississippi since March 11. Sixty-one cases have been reported in Lauderdale County and outbreaks have been reported at three of the county's long-term care facilities. There have been outbreaks reported at 30 long-term care facilities in Mississippi.

Even one case of COVID-19 in among residents or employees of a long-term care facility is considered an outbreak, according to the health department, because of the high risk for residents in poor health.

None of the Mississippi counties bordering Lauderdale County have reported more than six COVID-19 cases. Newton County has an outbreak at one long-term care facility.

Anderson Regional Medical Center reported Saturday it had hospitalized 11 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19. The patients are under strict isolation and close observation, according to the hospital.

The hospital reported a number of items on its Facebook page that could be donated, including protective gear, bleach, reading glasses and iPads, new or used, so patients could communicate with family.

Both Anderson and Rush Foundation Support are seeing continuous support for healthcare workers.

A group of Meridian firefighters showed their appreciation to staff at Anderson Regional Medical Center and Rush Foundation Hospital on Friday.

The crew parked a fire truck on 14th Street, then raised a huge American flag over the thoroughfare.

Nurses and other staff stood across the street, spelling out ‘Thank You” as drivers passed by, beeping their car horns.

Lauderdale County reports first COVID-19 death State shelter-in-place order in effect

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star

Anderson Regional Medical Center staff spell out "Thank You" as Meridian firefighters raise a giant American flag Friday. 

The gesture aimed to encourage those working on the frontline during the crisis, fire chief Ricky Leister said.

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann is asking churches to ring their bells each night at 6 p.m. beginning April 6 through the end of the statewide shelter-in-place order on Monday, April 20. Citizens may ring bells from their front porches, Hosemann said.

The COVID-19 virus is starting to have an impact on food assistance programs. Earlier this week the Meridian Public School District and the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi announced they were suspending their food aid program.

Wesley House Community Center, also, announced it would suspend its pre-school program and its food distribution for the next several weeks.

"The circumstances of the COVID-19 virus have created new challenges for us," Rev. David G. Schultz wrote in a Facebook message. "We have had to make some changes in the way we minister to our community. Yet, we remain committed to serve in our four programs of Christian Relief, Education, the Child Advocacy Center, and the Sexual Assault Crisis Center. The greater challenge at this time is to consider the safety of our clients and our staff while this virus continues to peak. With this understanding we feel it is prudent to suspend our pre-school program and our food distribution for the next several weeks."

Schultz noted Wesley House had provied more than 2,000 food bags in March.

"We have encountered extra expenses in purchasing product and costs related to getting product," Schultz wrote. "We will be using this time to restock, refocus, and consider how we can provide food to the community in as safe a way as possible for both our clients and our staff."

Wesley House remains open and staff is monitoring phone lines. Applications for assistance will be taken online, according to Schultz.


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