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Mississippi ‘safer at home’ order expires amid pandemic

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves’ “safer at home” order to slow the spread of the new coronavirus expired Monday morning.

Some businesses are still easing into reopening with sanitation and social distancing restrictions in place. Tattoo parlors were allowed to reopen during the weekend, and casinos are preparing to start reopening Thursday.

Many high schools have been holding commencement ceremonies with videos of individual students receiving their diplomas, often edited together to show the entire graduating class. Other high schools are planning ceremonies in a few weeks.

The “safer at home” order was supposed to limit people’s physical interactions. Republican Reeves said last week that he believes the order had accomplished its goal of limiting the spread of the virus enough to prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. He is still suggesting that people who are medically vulnerable should remain home.

The state Health Department said Monday that Mississippi — with a population of about 3 million — had at least 11,432 confirmed cases and 528 deaths from the coronavirus as of Sunday evening. That was an increase of 136 cases and seven deaths from the numbers reported a day earlier; two of the seven deaths occurred before Sunday but were in the new report because of a delay in the Health Department receiving information from death certificates.

The department said Monday that at least 7,681 people in the state are presumed to have recovered from the virus, either because it’s been at least 14 days since a person was confirmed with the virus and not hospitalized or because it’s been at least 21 days since a person was confirmed with the virus and was hospitalized or the person’s hospital status was not known.

The number of coronavirus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

The Health Department said Monday that at least 115,767 coronavirus tests had been conducted in Mississippi as of Wednesday. The department said at least 1,489 cases of the virus had been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 254 virus-related deaths in those facilities.

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