Thursday, April 2, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions About "Shelter in Place"

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions About " Shelter in Place"


How long will this last?

·       Starting 5:00 p.m. on Friday through 8:00 am on April 20, 2020.

Can I go to work?
·       If you work for an essential Business or Operation you may continue to go to work.
·       If your place of work is closed, you may go to work for minimum operations such as maintaining the condition of facilities, for security, to preserve value of business inventory, for payroll and employee benefits,
·       If you’re working remotely from home, you can go to work to get things necessary for you to continue to work remotely from your home or residence.

Can I go to the grocery store?
o Of course. But we need your cooperation. Make a list and buy
your groceries and supplies in as few trips as possible—once a
week not once a day.
o Go to the grocery store only to buy food or supplies needed to
maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of your
home, not for any social gatherings, such as morning coffee club.

Can I go to the doctor/dentist?
o Yes. Travel for health and safety is permitted.
o For previously scheduled appointments, check with your
healthcare provider before traveling. Your healthcare provider
should be observing instructions from the Mississippi Dept. of
Health and not conducting non-essential visits or performing
elective procedures or surgery. If healthcare visits and
procedures can safely be rescheduled they should be.

Can I go to the pharmacy to fill my prescription?
o Yes. Travel for health and safety is permitted.

Can I travel to and from work if I live in the county and work
outside the county?
o Yes. This shelter in place applies to your County. But you should
consider taking your most recent pay stub or other record to
establish where you work.

Can I go to school or take my child to school? 
o Travel to or from schools is allowed for purposes of receiving
materials for distance learning, to receive meals, and for other
education related purposes.

Can I exercise or work out?
 o Gyms and health clubs and parks (not including walking trails)
are closed during this Shelter in Place. But individual outdoor
recreation is encouraged.
o This would include running, biking, walking or even shooting
baskets by yourself, but no group recreation or activities such as
soccer or basketball games.

Can I get my hair and nails done?
o No. Salons, barbershops and other similar personal care and
grooming facilities are closed during this Shelter in Place. 

Can I go shopping?
o Yes, but only for food or supplies needed to maintain the safety,
sanitation and essential operation of your home or for other
people who are unable to or should not leave their home.

Can I visit a family member in the hospital or nursing home?
o No. Most visits are not allowed. For the safety of residents,
patients and staff, visits to hospitals and nursing homes are
prohibited except to visit those individuals receiving imminent
end-of-life care, or as otherwise allowed by that healthcare
facility.

Can I travel outside the county to visit family?
o Social gatherings of more than 10 people are not permitted
o Travel is permitted for health and safety, or to get necessary
food, services or supplies for elderly, minors, dependents,
persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons whether in
or outside of the county.

I have an elderly shut-in relative, may I help them buy
groceries, deliver medicine, or take them to an essential
doctor visit?
o Yes. Travel is permitted for health and safety, or to get
necessary food, services or supplies for elderly, minors,
dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable
persons.

What if I’m laid off while my business is closed during this
COVID-19 epidemic?
o Contact the Mississippi Department of Employment Security
https://mdes.ms.gov/ or your local WIN Job Center for assistance.
o You should also consult with your employer.

My family reunion will have more than 10 people attending
and it is scheduled during this shelter in place, may I still
go?

o No. All non-essential, social gatherings of more than 10 people
must be cancelled or rescheduled. This includes gatherings like
weddings, funerals, reunions, and backyard barbecues.

If a family member has been quarantined because of a
known contact with an active diagnosed case of COVID-19,
may I still visit him/her?
o No. Please consult with the appropriate medical and health
officials on specific instructions.

I have a court appearance schedule during this shelter in
place order, may I attend?
o Yes. Courts are an Essential Business or Operation. But please
consult with your attorney and court personnel to be sure of the
date and time, or to learn if it has been postponed or rescheduled
before traveling.

What if my City or Town has adopted more strict
regulations?
o Combatting COVID-19 in Mississippi is a joint effort with federal,
State, County and Local officials working together.
o Local or county authorities understand the local community best
and may adopt and enforce rules that are more strict as long
they do not prevent any Essential Business or Operation as
identified in Executive Order No. 1463 from providing essential
services and functions.

How do I know if my business is essential?
o Essential Business or Operations are established by Executive
Order 1463. That order is available on the Secretary of State’s
website under Communications and Publications/Executive
Orders at https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-
Publications/Pages/Executive-Orders.aspx

When I’m traveling, how can I establish that I work for an
Essential Business or Operation?
o Have some record that identifies your place of
employment—such as most recent pay stub or any letter or
identification your employer gives you.
o If you have any questions ask your employer and/or review the
list on Executive Order 1463 at
https://www.sos.ms.gov/Education-Publications/Pages/Executive-
Orders.aspx.









There are 104 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 1177. Four additional deaths occurred in the last 24 hours bringing the statewide total to twenty-six. MSDH is reporting nine cases in Winston County but local info indicates at least two new cases since the MSDH filing. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.


Some Clarification on Mississippi's "Shelter in Place"

Governor Tate Reeves issued Executive Order # 1466 yesterday requiring the citizens of the State of
Mississippi to “Shelter in Place” due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the particulars in basic terms:

· The order becomes effective at 5:00 pm on Friday, April 3 and extends until 8:00 am on April 20th.
· If your current home is unsafe due to condition, lack of utilities or the threat of domestic violence, you may seek shelter elsewhere.
· You cannot be evicted from your home during this time.
· Nonessential activities are prohibited. Examples include:
        Attending or hosting parties, social events, clubs, playgrounds, bowling alleys, movie theatres, parks (except for the purpose of walking),ball games, health clubs, amusement parks and similar social and recreational activity.
         

· Some activity is necessary and considered essential and is allowed. Examples include:

          Traveling to and from work at an essential business

          Seeking medical care or refilling prescriptions

          Obtaining necessary supplies for the safety and requirements of your home…grocery shopping, etc.

          Providing or seeking home repair, car repair, fuel

         Assisting others in need of like services

         Individual recreation and outdoor activity

· Outside of your home, you are required to practice social distancing ( at least 6 feet apart) and use good hygiene practices including frequent handwashing and sanitizing.

· Non-essential businesses must be closed. These include but are not necessarily limited to: movie theatres, bowling alleys, nail salons, tattoo parlors, etc
· The list of essential businesses is long and complex. If you are uncertain as to your business’s status, contact your local jurisdiction for guidance. The following is a list of examples but is not all:

       Grocery stores, hardware stores, home repair and construction services, fuel providers (C- stores, etc.), feed stores and garden suppliers, pharmacies, health care providers, auto repair and parts, law enforcement and essential government services such as garbage pickup and utilities, tax preparers, insurance agents, liquor stores, most manufacturing ( to maintain a supply chain) and support services to any and all of the above.



Attached below is a copy of the executive order and a clarification of “essential business”

Executive Order 1466
 
Essential Businesses
https://www.msema.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Executive-Order-1463.pdf

We will follow this post with some Frequently Asked Questions relative to the order.


Louisville Methodist Churches Reach Settlement In Dispute

(Louisville, MS) . . . . . . An agreement has been reached that settles a 2018 lawsuit filed in the Winston County (Mississippi) Chancery Court involving two churches sharing the same building. The terms of the settlement will not be released due to a non-disclosure clause contained in the agreement.

In March 2018, over 97% of the members of Louisville’s First United Methodist Church voted to leave the Mississippi Annual Conference of the parent denomination and to resume its programs and ministries as a non-affiliated church under the name of First Methodist Church of Louisville, Inc. The church's attorney, Hugh Hathorn, noted that the church was incorporated by the Mississippi Secretary of State in 1961 and that the church has remained chartered and in good standing with the State ever since. At the time of the decision to leave, First Methodist cited disagreement with the denomination's interpretation of church law. The lawsuit was filed to determine rightful ownership of all the property and assets of the church.

Hathorn, who is a member of First Methodist Church, said, "We are grateful the matter is finally resolved and behind us. Our church members have been resilient and faithful during this entire time. However, we believe our time is far better spent spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and ministering to the needs of our members and our community than being in a courtroom. First Methodist Church of Louisville will continue to worship and engage in ministries from our church building on the corner of North Church and Main Street where the church has met for more than 184 years." Senior Pastor Mike Childs added, “The prayers and concern of so many across the United States and several foreign countries have been felt and have certainly been instrumental in this positive outcome. With over 300 members, and continuing to grow, we are excited to anticipate what God has planned for this faithful fellowship of believers. We sincerely wish the local United Methodist Church congregation our very best in their new location. The time has come for our church, which has played such a pivotal role in the spiritual life of our community the better part of two centuries, to continue the heritage of Methodism in our historic building and direct its entire attention to doing God’s work.”



Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Tips for Dealing with COVID-19 in the Grocery Store

In spite of the pandemic and the changes in our behavior that are required, most of us still have to visit our local grocery store on occasion. Here are some guidelines that you should follow to protect your health and those around you:

  • If you are in an at-risk group due to health issues or age, let someone else do your shopping. 
  • If you are ill in anyway - let someone else do your shopping.
  • Designate one person in the family to shop. Don't bring your kids.
  • Try to go at less busy times.
  • If your store has Senior Shopping hours and you qualify - take advantage of them. If you don't qualify - respect them.
  • Take the time to make a complete list of your essential items before you go to the store to minimize your time inside and to limit the number of trips required.
  • Take social distancing seriously - remain six feet away from other shoppers.
  • Do not socialize. Get your items and get out as fast as possible.
  • Bring your own hand sanitizers and wipes.  The stores often run out of these items for customer use.
  • Wipe down cart handles and areas that you may come in contact with before shopping.
  • Don't pick up or touch items unless you plan to purchase them.
  • If you must cough or sneeze - do so into your sleeve.
  • Don't touch your face, mouth, nose and eyes
  • If it makes you more comfortable - use a face mask.
  • There is conflicting information on the use of gloves. If not used properly or removed properly, they may do more harm than good. In most cases, hand washing or sanitizing may be as or more effective.
  • At checkout, if possible use a debit card rather than cash. This limits any potential transfer to and from the clerk. Use self- checkout if possible.
  • If possible, use hand sanitizer when you return to your vehicle before touching your steering wheel, etc.
  • Wash your hands when you arrive home and after putting away your items. 
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables should be rinsed (do not use soap) and allowed to dry.
  • It is generally not necessary to wipe down packaged items but if you choose to - use antiseptic wipes.
That's a rather lengthy list but common sense and common courtesy will go a long way:
Wash your hands
Use social distancing
Don't touch your face, mouth, nose and eyes
If you're sick - don't go

And by the way, the workers in these stores are probably working overtime and exposed to hundreds if not thousands of people everyday. Show them a little respect and courtesy.

 The following link from LeBonheur Children's Hospital has some additional information and tips:



Ms. Dept of Health COVID-19 Update 04-01-20

There are 136 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 1073. Two additional deaths occurred in the last 24 hours bringing the statewide total to twenty-two. MSDH is reporting nine cases in Winston County. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.




Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Governor Issues First Statewide "Shelter in Place" Order - What Does It Mean?

Today, Governor Tate Reeves issued the first state mandated “Shelter in Place” order for Lauderdale
County. Reeves indicated that while this was the first order implemented at the state level, it will not likely be the last. Health officials noted that while Lauderdale does not have the most COVID-19 cases in the state, data indicated that it may be a hot spot for the spread of the virus. The order is effective until April 14th.

A few local officials across the state have previously issued similar orders within their jurisdictions including the City of Tupelo. Winston County and immediately surrounding communities are not currently under such orders.

Should a “Shelter in Place” order become a reality, we wanted to address some issues and provide information to the public as to what it might entail.

The shelter-in-place order issued by the Governor includes the following: 

  • Individuals are to stay at home except for the limited allowances in the executive order.
  • When outside of their homes, people must follow social distancing guidelines by maintaining a 6-foot distance from others and avoid groups of 10 or more.
  • Evictions are suspended, though people are still required to pay any rent or make any mortgage payments.
  • All nonessential businesses are to stop all activities other than those necessary for minimum operations (e.g. payroll, health insurance, security) and enabling employees to work from home.
  • Social and other non-essential gatherings in groups of more than 10 people must be canceled or rescheduled.
  • Restaurants and bars may only remain open for drive-through, curbside, and/or delivery service.
  • People may leave their homes only to perform essential activities, such as caring for someone in the vulnerable population, getting food or necessary supplies, and working for an essential business.
  • Individual outdoor recreation is encouraged, but not group recreation or activities such as soccer or basketball games.

As “Shelter in Place” orders are implemented across the country, clarification as to enforcement,
allowed activities and essential businesses becomes part of the process. As this type of order is longer term in nature, a larger number of businesses can be deemed essential. While it is clear that healthcare, groceries and pharmacies are essential in such a crisis, other operations must be considered – from child care, car repair and manufacturing to hardware and feed stores.

Allowed activities would typically include but not necessarily limited to: grocery shopping, travel for medical care, child care, work, home and business repair work, tax preparation, assisting others in need, etc.

Businesses deemed as nonessential such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, health clubs, etc. would typically be closed to public activity.

Enforcement of a “Shelter in Place” order is also problematic. With many exceptions for work, medical care, grocery shopping, child care, legal requirements and social services – determining who might be in violation of such an order is difficult.

Whether or not a “Shelter in Place” order is in our community’s future and what that order might entail, common sense and following the guidelines provided by our healthcare professionals is still key:
  1. . If you are sick in any way – STAY HOME. Good advice under any circumstances but especially important now. You may be more vulnerable to the virus, you may spread whatever illness you may be suffering from and generating fear in those you are exposing yourself to.

2. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.

3. If you do cough or sneeze – do so into your sleeve.

4. Don’t travel. Now is not the time for vacations or shopping trips.

5. Do not gather in groups – especially in groups in excess of 10.

6. If you are elderly or have significant health issues- STAY HOME and avoid social contact. Have a family member or other do your shopping and errands.

7. If you must visit a retailer for groceries/supplies, designate one family member to do so. Do not make this a family event! Don’t socialize, get what you need and leave. Sanitize when you go in and sanitize when you exit.

8. KEEP YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME and supervise them. There are too many reports of unsupervised kids in our stores.



Many people cannot self-isolate due to their jobs and responsibilities. Here are some things to do to protect yourself:

********

1. If you are vulnerable due to health issues or age – consider wearing a face mask and gloves.

2. Wash your hands on a regular basis.

3. Practice social distancing – keep a 6 foot distance if at all possible.

4. If someone enters your place of business who appears to be ill – ask them to return to their vehicle and deliver their goods or services to them there.

5. Clean surfaces that the public may come into contact with on a regular basis with a strong disinfectant.

6. Consider limiting your services to call-in or curbside if at all possible.

***********

If you are ill or concerned that you may have symptoms of Corona:

1. If you feel you need medical care – call your health care provider. Do not go directly to the clinic or hospital. Our medical professionals have procedures in place to deal with every circumstance. They can provide instructions on exactly what to do and where to go.

2. Use the emergency room only for 911 type emergencies.

3. Self-isolate yourself. Use the same bed and bathroom throughout your illness.

4. Minimize contact with others in your household.

5. Limit contact with your pets. (others come into contact with them as well.)

6. Don’t share household items; utensils, towels, bedding, etc.

7. Throw used tissues into a lined trash can.

8. Disinfect your home regularly, especially high contact items such as phones, keyboards, remote controls, door knobs, etc.

9. Follow your doctor’s instructions religiously.

*******

If you show symptoms of the virus or have been diagnosed with the virus- you should remain in quarantine until all of the following criteria is met:

· You exhibit no fever for 72 hours

· Other symptoms have abated

· At least 7 days since your first symptom

· After consulting with your doctor



Caretakers should follow the above rules as well

*******

Symptoms of Corona virus include:

· Continual fever

· Shortness of breath

· Cough

· Possible chest pain

If you are young and healthy or simply have the attitude that the virus is not that serious and you’re willing to take your chances, that is your choice but consider that you may be a carrier of the virus that could affect your parents, grandparents, friends and coworkers.


LPD Press Release on Early Morning Shooting in Louisville

On March 31st 2020 at approximately 03:17 AM, LPD officers responded to a shooting at Winston Plywood and Veneer in Louisville. When they arrived, they found Hassan D. Jordan, 23 years old of Macon, had been shot. LPD then apprehended Timothy C. Hemphill, 31 of Starkville, and placed him under arrest for the alleged shooting.

 Both were transported to the Winston Medical Center. Jordan was treated and released for a gunshot wound. Hemphill was treated and released from the hospital and then transported to the Winston County Correctional Facility.

 He is waiting on an initial appearance in Louisville Municipal Court by Judge David Wilson on the charge of Aggravated Assault. The investigation of this incident is still ongoing by the Louisville Police Department.
  


Ms. Dept of Health COVID-19 Update

There are 90 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 937. Four additional deaths occurred in the last 24 hours bringing the statewide total to twenty. MSDH is reporting seven cases in Winston County. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.


Monday, March 30, 2020

Correctional Facility Inmates and Staff Working For the Community

The Winston Choctaw Regional Correction Facility (WCCRCF) is doing its part to help our community during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Warden Neal Higgason has established an inmate project to produce masks for local needs to address the shortage.

 Enough masks have been produced to issue to staff and inmates at the correctional facility. Masks will be made available to law enforcement and first responders as well as employees of Winston County, the City of Louisville and any medical provider that has a need. 

Higgason said, "GED instructor Peggy Wallace is the team leader for the program. These inmates have volunteered to work on the project having recognized the need for the masks. These inmates are working several hours a day with no expectation of reward or pay. They are doing this because they want to serve their community in this difficult time. I would like to thank Sheriff Jason Pugh and the Winston County Board of Supervisors for supporting this project."







A Public Safety Message From the Louisville's Mayor's Office - Business Practices



Ms. Dept of Health COVID-19 Update - March 30

There are 89 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 847. Two additional deaths occurred in the last 24 hours bringing the statewide total to sixteen. MSDH is reporting six cases in Winston County. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Ms. Dept of Health COVID-19 Update

There are 95 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 758. One additional death occurred in the last 24 hours bringing the statewide total to  fourteen. MSDH is reporting no new cases in Winston County but we have been informed that there is one additional case since their summary, bringing the total cases in the county to five. There are no deaths reported in Winston County.



Saturday, March 28, 2020

Ms. Dept of Health Update on COVID-19

There are 84 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 663. Thirteen deaths have been reported. There is one new case reported in Winston County overnight. Four total cases have been reported in the County.



Library System Continues to Serve During COVID-19 Outbreak

All branches of the Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System (MMRLS) are currently closed to the public, but many of the library’s resources are still available online during this time of social distancing, including its popular Hoopla and Axis360 services.

MMRLS has created a remote “digital library card” sign-up option to ensure that library cards can be issued to those who want to access digital materials and services while they are at home. To sign up for a digital library card, or to reset the PIN number on an existing library card account, users can visit mmrls.lib.ms.us and click on the digital library card icon to complete the online application.

The library has also created an eResources page, located at mmrls.lib.ms.us/eresources, to make it easy for users to access all its digital content in one place. Regular updates are posted to this page, including links to additional free educational and informational content. Users will also find links to the library’s Axis360 eBook service, as well as Hoopla, where card holders can access eBooks, eAudiobooks, movies, and more. MMRLS has increased the number of downloads patrons are permitted on Hoopla from 5 to 8 per month through July 31st.

Library staff members have been working to offer virtual children’s storytimes, and regular updates to its social media pages to share useful and interesting content. Virtual storytimes will be available through the library’s Facebook page and Instagram pages. Users can find the library on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter by searching @midmisslib.

MMRLS also wants library users to know that all materials checked out from the library with a due date of March 9th and after have been extended to May 4th, and that no overdue fines will be charged during the library’s closure. Library book drops are also closed, and patrons are being asked to keep their checked out materials until the library reopens.

“Acting on advice and recommendations from the CDC, Governor Tate Reeves, the Mississippi Library Association, and Mississippi Library Commission, nearly all public library systems in the State of Mississippi are currently closed,” said MMRLS Executive Director Josh Haidet. “Even so, the decision to close was a tremendously difficult one to make, and we really miss our patrons. I am proud of our library team member’s efforts as they continue to engage with the community in a safe and responsible way, while working to improve and adapt library services during this crisis.”

The Mid-Mississippi Regional Library System serves Attala, Holmes, Leake, Montgomery, and Winston Counties. Patrons can contact the library via email at: director@mmrls.lib.ms.us, or by calling 662-289-5151.



Friday, March 27, 2020

PSC Coordinating with Utility Providers to Suspend Online Convenience Fees

The Mississippi Public Service Commission is coordinating with utility providers under its jurisdiction to temporarily suspend convenience fees for online payments during the COVID-19 outbreak. These providers are Entergy Mississippi, Mississippi Power Company, Atmos Energy, CenterPoint Energy and Spire Gas.

“Suspending these online convenience fees is the right thing to do during this time where social distancing and online payments are encouraged,” Chairman Dane Maxwell said. “We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and identify ways we can protect customers.”

“We thank these utilities for taking measures to help defer costs associated with online bill payments as a means to reduce person-to-person contact,” Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey said. “We encourage everyone to take proper precautions as we work through this health emergency.”

“Little things like temporarily waiving fees for paying bills online help ensure more people pay online when people are staying home and social distancing is encouraged,” Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley said. “It’s also a small gesture to help in this time of economic distress.”

This action comes after an order issued by the Commission on March 15 that temporarily suspended utility cutoffs for a period of sixty days to help customers handle the COVID-19 outbreak.



Thursday, March 26, 2020

Daily Update from Ms Dept of Health on COVID-19

There are 108 new cases of COVID-19 reported by MSDH for a total of 485. Five deaths have been reported, all involving elderly or elderly with additional health problems. Three total cases have been reported in Winston County.



Wednesday, March 25, 2020

New Policy for Chancery Clerk's Office

The Winston County Chancery Clerk has implemented new office policies due to the COVID-19 situation. Please see below:


Daily Update from MS. Dept of Health on COVID-19

Mississippi Department of Health reports 57 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 bringing the total of cases across the state to 377. One new case has been confirmed in Winston County bringing the total to three.

Winston County, Local Cities and Health Care Working to Battle COVID-19

Any emergency situation calls for teamwork. To provide a better understanding of how our community is working as a team to combat COVID-19, we offer some insight into how and who is part of that team.

There is a group working closely together for Winston County during the current pandemic. Even before the Governor declared a state of emergency, plans were in place to address the issues that were certain to develop. Dealing with the aftermath of the tornado in 2014, provided the key framework for dealing with this crisis.

An Incident Management Team (IMT), following guidelines established by the Mississippi Department of Health’s Office of Emergency Planning and Response, was quickly in place - spearheaded by local Emergency Management, political leaders (including the president of the Board of Supervisors, mayors) law enforcement, local officials, media and of course, our medical professionals. IMT is meeting on a daily basis by conference call to coordinate efforts across the county. IMT is working to provide information, local and state resources and supplies to the areas of need and to advise our local leaders to protect the safety of our community.

There are 14 members of IMT and they are strongly supported by a bevy of volunteers and first responders.  Winston County EMA Director, Buddy King, serves as the Incident Commander and answers directly to the President of the Board of Supervisors, Louisville’s Mayor and the CEO of Winston Medical Center. Functions and areas of responsibility include: planning, operations, logistics, finance, safety, medical services and public information. 

In a situation such as this, our medical professionals take the lead. The Winston County Board of Supervisors recently appointed Dr. Dustin Gentry as the Winston County Medical Director to help coordinate response efforts.  Additional assistance is provided by Cornelia Coburn, a Winston County native and a health services expert.  Providing the absolute best medical response to the pandemic and protecting the health of our citizens and health care workers is a priority. Coordinating with Winston Medical Center, the Winston County Health Department and other health care providers is key to our local response.

As with any emergency, there are legal and practical issues that must be considered. Decisions are not made lightly. IMT builds upon state and federal guidelines and ever-changing information but also considers local needs in its decision-making process.

Information is key. It is extremely important for the public to get their information from reliable sources. Social media is exploding with inaccurate, misleading posts and conjecture. The best way to combat misinformation – look only to reliable sources and don’t repost info that doesn’t come from these sources.

IMT is coordinating with local media and Winston Medical Center to get accurate and up to date info to our citizens.  At a local level, these are the sources that you should depend upon:

WLSM Radio

For more information, you should also visit the following websites:



IMT works closely with MEMA and the Mississippi Department of Health. MEMA provided the following “talking points” to share with the public across the state:

·       Currently there is not a mandatory stay-home order. We ask folks to avoid crowds and frequently wash their hand.
·       Healthcare workers will be our top priority when receiving supplies along with first responders.
·       If you see the National Guard, they are assisting with delivering supplies, doing humanitarian service to help MSDH and MEMA
·       MEMA and MSDH are working to send out more supplies this week. County EMA will receive a shipment to disperse to first responders, hospitals will receive a shipment and long-term care facilities will receive a shipment.
·       We ask people not to hoard food. This is to ensure everyone has access to the supplies they need. There is not a food shortage. The overwhelming demand has slowed the process of getting food back on the shelves.
·       Daycares and businesses can choose to close on their own. At this time there is no mandatory order to do so.
·       Small businesses that are impacted economically can apply for an “economic disaster loan” https://www.msema.org/news/sba-declares-economic-disaster-for-mississippi-due-to-covid-19/
·       They will have to apply online for SBA assistance
·       There is a list of testing sites available at msema.org and msdh’s website
  • Please call the COVID-19 Hotline for your questions: 877-978-6453

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Mississippi Public Service Commission Urges Public to Stay Away from Utility Workers


The Mississippi Public Service Commission is urging the public to stay away from utility crews working in the field.

“These employees are working hard to ensure the public has essential services, like electricity and gas,” said Chairman Dane Maxwell. “When someone approaches these field workers, it can create a dangerous situation for the employees and the person who approaches them. It’s imperative that people stay safely away.”

"As we take precautions to protect ourselves during this crisis, we must be reminded that our utility workers continue their daily work in the field to ensure that we have the various utility services we need," Central District Commissioner Brent Bailey said. "Utility personnel and crews are taking special measures to help keep our lights, gas and water on and we ask you to help us all stay healthy and safe by adhering to CDC and MSDH guidelines and keep your distance from utility workers and work zones."

“We ask each Mississippian to please not complicate this crisis or make it more dangerous by approaching utility workers,” Northern District Commissioner Brandon Presley said. “These employees are critical to keeping our utility infrastructure up and running during COVID-19 and we need all citizens to commit to helping by staying away from these utility workers and adhering to health guidelines. We cannot afford to make this situation worse because of careless behavior.”

Work sites can have any number of hidden dangers for the public, and distracting crews can cause accidents to happen. Practicing social distancing (six or more feet apart) is the best way to keep a safe distance from crews, so that citizens and workers can stay healthy and virus-free.

These workers provide an essential service and are working to ensure power and gas continues to flow to homes and businesses during these challenging times. Anyone who has a question about their utility’s service should contact the utility provider by phone, website or mobile app if available.



COVID-19 Case Update From MSDH

The Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) is reporting that there are 71 new cases of COVID-19 reported across Mississippi. This brings the total number of cases to 320. There is now at least one case of the virus in surrounding counties except Neshoba and Kemper. Contrary to earlier information provided to WWN, there are only two confirmed cases of the virus in Winston County.

As of Monday, CDC is reporting 33,404 cases across the country. Below is a map of occurrences:



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COVID-19 Update with MEMA Information

As with any similar situation, there is a great deal of inaccurate information and rumors that surface. Please be careful as to your source. If you have questions, go to a legitimate provider of information. Locally these include:

Also follow WLSM for current info as well.
MEMA released the following information to clarify the current situation:

  • Currently there is not mandatory stay-home order. We ask folks to avoid crowds and frequently wash their hand.
  • Healthcare workers will be our top priority when receiving supplies along with first responders.
  • If you see the National Guard, they are assisting with delivering supplies, doing humanitarian service to help MSDH and MEMA

  • MEMA and MSDH are working to send out more supplies this week. County EMA will receive a shipment to disperse to first responders, hospitals will receive a shipment and long-term care facilities will receive a shipment.

  • We ask people not to hoard food. This is to ensure everyone has access to the supplies they need. There is not a food shortage. The overwhelming demand has slowed the process of getting food back on the shelves.

  • Daycares and businesses can choose to close on their own, at this time there is no mandatory order to do so.

  • There is a list of testing sites available at msema.org and msdh’s website
  • Please call the COVID-19 Hotline for your questions: 877-978-6453

Monday, March 23, 2020

A Message from Louisville's Mayor

The following is a message from Mayor Will Hill. To listen -visit the city's home page here and click on the audio file.

A written transcript is provided below.





Sunday, March 22, 2020

Comprehensive Info on Recommended Procedures on COVID-19

There is a great deal of information concerning the COVID-19 virus (Corona) and the necessary precautions that is being passed around on social media and other news sources. The volume and purpose of this information can sometimes be confusing, inaccurate or overwhelming. Some of those sources are questionable in content and focus. There is still much that we don’t know about the virus and new and sometimes contradictory information continue to surface. Reposting undocumented and unsourced information from a friend of a friend of a doctor or health care professional may not be the best option.


Locally, Winston Medical Center and our Emergency Management team are doing a good job of providing information and resources to our community and that should be your primary source of knowledge for your actions. Follow the following Facebook pages and associated websites for current local updates:

Also follow WLSM for current info as well.

We have attempted to compile a comprehensive list of do’s and don’ts (from CDC, Ms. Dept of Health, MEMA and Winston Medical) for the public in response to the virus. Please take the time to consider and apply the following recommendations over the coming days and weeks:

1.       If you are sick in any way – STAY HOME. Good advice under any circumstances but especially important now. You may be more vulnerable to the virus, you may spread whatever illness you may be suffering from and generating fear in those you are exposing yourself to.
2.       Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
3.       If you do cough or sneeze – do so into your sleeve.
4.       Don’t travel. Now is not the time for vacations or shopping trips.
5.       Do not gather in groups – especially in groups in excess of 10.
6.       If you are elderly or have significant health issues- STAY HOME and avoid social contact. Have a family member or other do your shopping and errands.
7.       If you must visit a retailer for groceries/supplies, designate one family member to do so. Do not make this a family event! Don’t socialize, get what you need and leave. Sanitize when you go in and sanitize when you exit.
8.       KEEP YOUR CHILDREN AT HOME and supervise them. There are too many reports of unsupervised kids in our stores.

Many people cannot self-isolate due to their jobs and responsibilities. Here are some things to do to protect yourself:

1.       If you are vulnerable due to health issues or age – consider wearing a face mask and gloves.
2.       Wash your hands on a regular basis.
3.       Practice social distancing – keep a 6 foot distance if at all possible.
4.       If someone enters your place of business who appears to be ill – ask them to return to their vehicle and deliver their goods or services to them there.
5.       Clean surfaces that the public may come into contact with on a regular basis with a strong disinfectant.
6.       Consider limiting your services to call-in or curbside if at all possible.

If you are ill or concerned that you may have symptoms of Corona:

1.       If you feel you need medical care – call your health care provider. Do not go directly to the clinic or hospital. Our medical professionals have procedures in place to deal with every circumstance. They can provide instructions on exactly what to do and where to go.
2.       Use the emergency room only for 911 type emergencies.
3.       Self-isolate yourself. Use the same bed and bathroom throughout your illness.
4.       Minimize contact with others in your household.
5.       Limit contact with your pets. (others come into contact with them as well.)
6.       Don’t share household items; utensils, towels, bedding, etc.
7.       Throw used tissues into a lined trash can.
8.       Disinfect your home regularly, especially high contact items such as phones, keyboards, remote controls, door knobs, etc.
9.       Follow your doctor’s instructions religiously.


If you show symptoms of the virus or have been diagnosed with the virus- you should remain in quarantine until all of the following criteria is met:
·       You exhibit no fever for 72 hours
·       Other symptoms have abated
·       At least 7 days since your first symptom
·       After consulting with your doctor

Caretakers should follow the above rules as well

Symptoms of Corona virus include:
·       Continual fever
·       Shortness of breath
·       Cough
·       Possible chest pain

If you are young and healthy or simply have the attitude that the virus is not that serious and you’re willing to take your chances, that is your choice but consider that you may be a carrier of the virus that could affect your parents, grandparents, friends and coworkers.

While this list includes all the things you shouldn’t do, here are some things that you can do if you are healthy to make this time more pleasant:

·       Spend time outdoors – walking, fishing, hunting
·       Catch up on your reading, binge watch your favorite tv shows
·       Do all those household chores you’ve been putting off till “ you had more time.”
·       Play board games
·       Spend time with your kids – games, school work, cooking, etc
·       Donate blood
·       Volunteer to do shopping or run errands for those who may be housebound due to their age or health.