State health department issues added guidelines concerning coronavirus

March 12th, 2020     Health & Wellness

Mississippi state officials held a press conference at 11 a.m. Thursday with the health department issuing added guidelines concerning the COVID-19 virus:

New recommendations as of March 12, 2020

  • Avoid gatherings of 250 people or more, especially if there is evidence of transmission in your county or adjacent counties . If you do attend, remember to practice the hygiene and distancing steps above.
  • To prevent illness in those most vulnerable, anyone 65 or older OR with a chronic medical condition should avoid any gathering of 50 people or more.
  • Avoid unnecessary (non-urgent) air, bus or train travel.
  • Limit visitation to older relatives or friends (especially in nursing or care homes).
  • Prepare for the possibility that schools or day care centers may temporarily close.
  • More about preventing respiratory virus illnesses


For People at High Risk

People 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. These people should take simple precautions at all times to limit their exposure to others who may be ill:

  • Do not attend gatherings of more than 50 people.
  • Keep more space (6 feet if possible) 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, 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.


For Long-Term Care Facilities

  • MSDH recommends discontinuing group social activities.
  • Consider restricting visitation until further notice.
  • Post signs that discourage all nonessential visitation and discourage ill visitors from entering the facility.
  • Visitors should only visit their family members and should not have contact with other residents since they could spread the virus.
  • Visitors should cover their coughs and be educated on the importance of hand hygiene.
  • 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.
  • Make sure the facility has plenty of hand washing products and that visitors have access to them.


Schools, Gatherings and Events

Everyone attending mass gatherings should take extra precautions at this time, including:

  • Regular hand hygiene with hand sanitizer or soap and water.
  • If ill, do not attend any public event and call your physician or healthcare provider if needed.
  • Maintain social distancing as much as practical. A separation 6 feet from another person is considered effective for infection control.
  • Schools throughout the state should consider cancelling any mass gatherings, including assembly and social events.
  • The Mississippi State Department of Health is not advising the closing of schools at this time.


Correctional Facilities

  • Effective immediately, the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) is temporarily suspending visitation at all facilities where MDOC are housed in order to establish sanitation and prevention protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Attorneys and essential visitors will be allowed at the facility, and the visiting area will be sanitized upon completion of each visit.
  • MDOC is reinforcing common health practices based on preventive measures recommended by the MSDH and the CDC.


Event organizers: MSDH recommends that communities and organizations contact us at 877-978-6453 to determine whether cancelation is warranted, or appropriate preventive steps for your event.



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