- Mississippi State Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline: 1-877-978-6453.
The Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Gulf Coast tourism agency, Coastal Mississippi, both issued statements this week in response to the spread of COVID - 19 in the United States.
According the MSDH website:
"COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. The CDC and MSDH are working to detect, contain and limit the spread of cases in the U.S. and Mississippi should they occur.
MSDH is actively planning with doctors and hospitals on how to respond safely and effectively to any case of COVID-19 in Mississippi. Like the flu, COVID-19 is thought to be spread person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. Other possible routes of transmission, such as touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, are also being investigated."
On March 9, 2020, MSDH issued this press release
ramping up precautions in the Memphis area of North Mississippi:
MSDH recommends that all long-term care facilities, personal care homes and group care sites for those with disabilities in DeSoto, Marshall, Tate and Tunica counties follow the following recommendations:
Recommendations for group activities and visitors:
• MSDH recommends discontinuing group social activities.
• Consider restricting visitation until further notification.
• Post signs that discourage all nonessential visitation and discourage ill visitors from entering the facility.
• Keep all ill visitors away from the facility for at least 48 hours after symptoms resolve.
• Consider limiting visitation by children (especially during community wide outbreaks) and the elderly or those with underlying medical problems that place them at risk.
• Postpone all groups (like school groups or church groups) from visiting facility — this goes along with discontinuing all group activities.
• Visitors should cover their coughs and be educated on the importance of hand hygiene.
• Make sure the facility has plenty of hand washing products and that visitors have access to them.
• Visitors should only visit their family members and should not have contact with other residents since they could spread the virus.
It is unclear at this time how long these recommendations will be in place.
MSDH offered additional COVID - 19 info
in their March 10 Public Health Report:
People most at risk for serious illness from COVID-19 are older adults and those with a chronic illness such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease.
The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and MSDH are now encouraging these groups to take simple precautions at all times to limit their exposure to others who may be ill:
- Keep more space between you and others as you go through the day.
- Avoid crowds. When you do go out in public, keep away from others who are sick and limit close contact.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water, especially after being in public places.
- If COVID-19 begins to spread locally, you should stay home as much as possible. Having a supply of important medications and basic supplies can help.
Mississippi COVID-19 Testing Update
Last week the MSDH Public Health Laboratory began testing for COVID-19 in samples submitted by Mississippi physicians and healthcare providers in cases where coronavirus infection is a possibility. As of March 10, there have been 20 individuals tested for COVID-19; all results were negative. We'll continue to update this information as patient samples are submitted to us.
Anyone with flu-like symptoms, especially those who are older or in poor health, should see a healthcare provider as a matter of general good health. Healthcare providers can then assess individual cases which may need specific testing for COVID-19.
Milton Segarra, CEO of Coastal Mississippi,
issued the following statement on March 12
Officials recommended reconsidering public events with attendance of over 250 people and limiting gatherings, especially for people over age 65. Official authorities have also recommend that travelers know which areas are at most risk and to avoid them while traveling.
If you are receiving questions from visitors and clients related to COVID-19 and its implications for Coastal Mississippi, please refer them to the Mississippi State Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline below.
MISSISSIPPI STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COVID-19 HOTLINE:
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has activated the Mississippi COVID-19 hotline to answer questions from the general public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For up-to-date information, call the hotline, check the MSDH website at HealthyMS.com/COVID-19, or download the free MS Ready app for Apple and Android. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website also has a wealth of information.
The hotline number is 1-877-978-6453.
This hotline is for the general public only.