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TIMELINE: Mid-South coronavirus updates April 8

The impact of the novel coronavirus is being felt all across the Mid-South where new cases are being announced every day and new steps are being taken to help limit the spread. Keep checking back for the latest COVID-19 updates throughout the day.

UPDATE: (6:50 p.m.) Arkansas health officials confirm the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is 1,077.
UPDATE: (3:00 p.m.) Gov. Bill Lee started his conference with urging Tennessee to find hope.

Gov. Lee said the Tennessee Department of Workforce is reformatting the unemployment insurance website so that the self-employed will be able to receive the benefits.
79 people have died in Tennessee because of the coronavirus. They have done 57,000 tests across the state of Tennessee. 10,000 new swabs went out to health departments to help with testing Latest Memphis News Press.
The Tennessee governor said they are continuing to make sure the state is able to handle a surge of new cases. An executive order loosened the restrictions to allow retired or furloughed health care personnel to help the incoming demand. An online portal has been set up for people to sign up.
HealthStream has opened its learning platform to facilitate the launch of the alternative health care locations. This will ensure high-quality care at the alternative locations, the governor said.
Abbott has created a test that will test patients in minutes, rather than days. The CDC has provided the State of Tennessee with one of the machines and 120 test kits This will allow rapid testing for the state, and will hopefully help with the backlog.
The 120 test kits are going to be used for health emergencies and higher-risk patients, for example, a nursing home resident.
There may be only in a state lab, however, private labs in the state will also be getting access to the tests. This will rapidly scale the testing in Tennessee, according to the governor Press Release Distribution Services.
The test is administered with two nasal swaps. The test will get a negative result in five minutes and a negative in around 13 minutes.
“This machine is a game-changer," a medical official said.
UPDATE: (2:31 p.m.) Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves held a daily news conference to update people on the state’s response.
There are 88 new cases in Mississippi, which is down from the previous day. He said it is good news, however, they do not believe this is a downward trend.
In regards to churches across Mississippi, Gov. Reeves emphasized that the state of Mississippi does not have the right to shut down a church or stop them from worshipping.
“We are not going to be kind of government that shuts down worship,” Gov. Reeves said.
Reeves emphasized he is only asking churches to do the right thing, and not hold in-person worshiping.
The governor invited Bishop Stanley Searcy who was still holding services to pray for the state of Mississippi.
“This is a horrific virus,” the bishop said. “The coronavirus is doing more than taking away our lives. It is taking away our constitutional right.”
He thanked the governor for being a Christian and being a straight shooter.
The bishop said he will not be holding church on Easter to respect the governor’s wishes.
“We can only save lives if we all do our part,” Reeves said.
On schooling in Mississippi, Governor Reeves also said he has been urged to continue distance learning. He will continue to talk to parents and teachers. On Tuesday, April 14, he will provide clear guidance on the state’s plan.
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