DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office responds to dispatcher’s positive COVID-19 test result

Updated: Mar. 18, 2020 at 5:02 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Wednesday morning, the Mississippi State Department of Health announced 13 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total to 34. This includes the first case out of DeSoto County.

“That doesn’t mean that it’s spreading rapidly or more rapidly. It just means that we’re more aware,” said DeSoto County Supervisor Lee Caldwell.

Caldwell says she learned a Hernando city employee tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday.

“The citizen worked in dispatch for the City of Hernando. The police chief has assured us that they’ve taken protective precautions and that they’ve notified the people that that citizen has been in contact with,” said Caldwell.

According to the police chief, any employees who are over 60 have been sent home as a precautionary measure and anyone who came in contact with the infected employee will self quarantine for 14 days.

The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office also took to social media saying they have closed the front lobby to limit interaction with employees and will be accepting all walk-in reports over the phone.

So far in Mississippi, there have been 34 positive cases including two each out of Coahoma and Bolivar counties.

Tuesday afternoon, on his Facebook page, Governor Tate Reeves talked about the coronavirus.

"We are going to keep getting positive test results back, but we're trying to slow the virus and slow the spread of the virus,” said Governor Reeves.

The governor has declared a state of emergency and is working to put mobile testing sites across the state.

His office sent WMC the following statement:

"Governor Reeves has remained in constant contact with Dr. Dobbs and the Mississippi State Department of Health, working around the clock to respond quickly and decisively to slow the spread of the coronavirus. There is no higher priority for the Governor than ensuring the health of all Mississippians and he is reviewing all options, including the timeframe for school closures and protections for small businesses and their employees. Governor Reeves is working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration and sent them a letter yesterday requesting a disaster declaration to make loans available for small businesses. For mobile testing centers around the state, the Governor signed an executive order earlier this week activating the Mississippi National Guard to support those testing locations. To further ramp up efforts to protect public health, he plans to implement additional mobile testing sites throughout Mississippi in the coming days.”

So far, 513 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Mississippi.

WMC also reached out to the state health department. A spokesperson said the health department does not perform tests, but hospitals and physicians can submit tests to the health department.

Turn around time is usually 24-48 hours.

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