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Mid-South coronavirus live updates: Breaking down the latest COVID-19 data in the Mid-South

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 continue to spread 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

LIVE UPDATES

RELATED: Here are all the businesses that should close July 8 at midnight according to Health Directive No. 8

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MATA announces 7th employee tests positive for COVID-19

6:45 p.m. - MATA says a 7th employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The MATAplus bus operator last worked JUne 16th, and MATA learned of the positive test July 8. 

Learn more HERE.

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WATCH: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee gives update on COVID-19 in the state

3:00 p.m. - Watch HERE.

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WATCH: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves gives update on COVID-19 in the state

2:30 p.m. - Watch HERE.

LIVE: Governor Tate Reeves

Our hospital system is being stretched thin. COVID-19 numbers are rising steadily. We have placed additional restrictions on hospitals to deal with the surge, and more county-specific orders are coming shortly. The risk is real and everywhere.

Posted by Tate Reeves on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

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2,472 new cases & 20 new deaths in TN; more than 32,700 recoveries

2:00 p.m. - The Tennessee Department of Health reports 2,472 new COVID-19 cases and 20 new deaths, for a total of 55,986 cases and 685 deaths in the state.

There are 3,023 hospitalizations, and 32,736 have recovered. 950,540 have been tested.

Find the full breakdown from the Tennessee Department of Health HERE.

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674 new cases & 30 new deaths in MS; Desoto County now has 1,767 cases and 18 deaths

2:00 p.m. - The Mississippi State Department of Health reports 674 new COVID-19 cases and 30 new deaths, for a total of 32,888 cases and 1,188 deaths in the state.

Desoto County now has 1,767 cases and 18 deaths in the county.

Find the full breakdown from the Mississippi State Department of Health HERE.

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WATCH: Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson gives update on COVID-19 in the state

1:30 p.m. - Watch HERE.

(KTHV) - Since the beginning of Phase Two, Arkansas has seen a total of 10,897 new coronavirus cases.

In a press conference on July 3, Gov. Hutchinson announced he signed an executive order, allowing cities to use a model ordinance to require mask wearing on a local level.

The governor also announced if any Arkansan has a COVID-19 related health concern, they can request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election.

Key facts to know:

  • 25,246 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas
  • 6,127 active cases
  • 305 reported deaths 
  • 358 hospitalizations
  • 89 on ventilators
  • 19,396 recoveries

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Masks will be required at all Mississippi driver license offices beginning July 13

11:40 a.m. - Due to the continuing rise in COVID-19 cases across Mississippi, the Department of Public Safety is urging customers to wear masks while visiting Driver License Offices. Masks will become mandatory at all Driver License Offices on Monday, July 13.

Each station location will continue following the daily schedule according to the first letter of customers’ last names.

  • Monday A-E
  • Tuesday F-L
  • Wednesday Firearm Permits, Security Guard Permits, Renewals, & Duplicates
  • Thursday M-S
  • Friday T-Z

To limit exposure, customers can take advantage of the online services here.

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Christ Community Health Services Free COVID 19 Testing

11: 25 a.m. - Christ Community Health Services provides free drive-thru testing at both Christ Community Health Services Hickory Hill, 5366 S. Mendenhall Mall and the Third Street location, 3362 S. Third, Monday – Friday. 

Testing is by Appointment only: To schedule appointments text: TEST2020 to 91999 or call 901-842-3160.

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302 new cases & 1 new death in Shelby County; more than 7,975 recoveries

10:00 a.m. - The Shelby County Department of Health reports 302 new COVID-19 cases and 1 new death, for a total of 12,467 cases and 201 deaths.

The health department says there are 4,291 current cases, and 7,975 have recovered. 145,679 have been tested in the county.

Find the full breakdown from the Shelby County Department of Health HERE.

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FREE Drive-thru testing Thursday in Downtown Memphis

Memphis Health Center, Inc. (MHC) and Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ will partner on Thursday, July 9 to provide drive-thru testing in the parking lot of Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ located at 369 GE Patterson Avenue, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

There is no referral needed to get a test, however, an appointment is encouraged. If you are wanting a test, call 901.261.2042 and answer a series of screening questions.

For more information, click here. 

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Mid-South Food Bank mobile pantries for Wednesday, July 8

6:40 a.m.: 

  • Memphis, Eastside Comm. Church, 1503 Colonial 38117, 10 a.m.
  • Memphis, Idlewild Presbyterian, 1750 Union 38104, 9 a.m.
  • Memphis, MPD, Mt. Moriah Precinct, 2602 Mt. Moriah 38115, 10 a.m.
  • Marshall Cty, MS- Chulahoma Church, 5509 MS-4 Holly Springs 38635, 1 p.m.

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RELATED: Protective gear running low again, doctors and nurses warn

RELATED: New Shelby County health directive shuts down most bars indefinitely, cuts operating hours at restaurants

RELATED: Here's how to make your own face mask if you don't have a sewing machine

RELATED: EPA approves 2 Lysol products as effective in killing coronavirus on surfaces

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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.