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  • Alabama, Florida, Mississippi set up COVID-19 hotlines: Here are the numbers

    MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — If you or a family member are showing signs of symptoms, you can call the hotline in your state. Here are the numbers:

    Alabama Covid-19 Hotline:1-888-264-2256
    Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline is 1-866-779-6121
    Mississippi Coronavirus Hotline (8 a.m. — 5 p.m., Monday through Friday): 1-877-978-6453

    To view all county breakdowns of COVID-19 cases in the states of Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi, click the links below:

    ALABAMA: http://alabamapublichealth.gov/infectiousdiseases/2019-coronavirus.html

    FLORIDA: https://fdoh.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/8d0de33f260d444c852a615dc7837c86

    MISSISSIPPI: https://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,420.html


  • Trump extends virus guidelines, braces US for big death toll

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Bracing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 people, President Donald Trump on Sunday extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April, bowing to public-health experts who presented him with even more dire projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

    It was a stark shift in tone by the president, who only days ago mused about the country reopening in a few weeks. From the Rose Garden, he said his Easter revival hopes had only been “aspirational.”

    The initial 15-day period of social distancing urged by the federal government expires Monday and Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the national guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic. He instead decided to extend them through April 30, a tacit acknowledgment he’d been too optimistic. Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.

    Trump’s impulse to reopen the country met a sober reality check Sunday from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, who said the U.S. could experience more than 100,000 deaths and millions of infections from the pandemic. That warning hardened a recognition in Washington that the struggle against the coronavirus will not be resolved quickly even as Trump expressed a longing for normalcy.

    “I want our life back again,” the president told reporters.

    Trump, who has largely avoided talk of potential death and infection rates, cited projection models that said potentially 2.2 million people or more could have died had social distancing measures not been put in place. And he said the country would be doing well if it “can hold” the number of deaths “down to 100,000.” He said the best case for the country would be for the death rate to peak in about two weeks.

    “It’s a horrible number,” Trump said, but added, “We all together have done a very good job.”

    Brought forward by Trump at the outdoor briefing, Fauci said his projection of a potential 100,000 to 200,000 deaths is “entirely conceivable” if not enough is done to mitigate the crisis. He said that helped shape the extension of the guidelines, which he called “a wise and prudent decision.”

    Americans are now being called on to prepare for another 30 days of severe economic and social disruption, as schools and businesses are closed and public life is upended. One in 3 Americans remain under state or local government orders to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus.

    Trump acknowledged that he may be forced to extend the guidelines again at the end of April, but expressed hope that by June 1, “we should be well on our way to recovery.”


  • Florida law enforcement agencies set up checkpoints at the Alabama-Florida border Saturday, but are not on every highway

    Florida law enforcement agencies set up checkpoints at the Alabama-Florida border, but as of right now they aren’t on every highway.

    On Friday, Governor Ron Desantis issued an executive order to keep people traveling from areas known to have a lot of COVID-19 cases out of the state.

    "Executive Order 20-86, directing all persons who enter the State of Florida from an area with substantial community spread, to include the State of Louisiana, inclusive of those entering the State of Florida by roadways, to isolate or quarantine for a period of 14 days from the time of entry into the State of Florida or the duration of the person’s presence in the State of Florida, whichever is shorter." - GOV. DESANTIS

    News 5 contacted the Florida Highway Patrol as well as the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a comment on the matter.


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