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WCBI News at Six - March 20, 2020

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WCBI News at Six - March 20, 2020
WCBI News at Six - March 20, 2020
WCBI News at Six - March 20, 2020

Thank you for joining us this evening, alabama now has 106 cases of the coronavirus, including one in lamar county.

The alabama department of public health published the new numbers late this afternoon.

There is only one case being reported in lamar county, at this time.

Tuscaloosa county is reporting four cases.

Jefferson county, which is where birmingham is located, has the most in the state with 50 positive tests.

Mississippi's total now stands at 80 with new cases being reported in monroe, lee, lafayette, and webster counties.

Tupelo's mayor has issued an executive order that impacts many businesses such as restaurants, along with recreational entertainment facilities.

Allie martin has more.

For this work session, every council member took part via phone, except for councilwoman nettie davis, who was there in person.

Nats councilmembers were reviewing the latest executive order by mayor jason shelton, aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus.

It requires restaurants in the city to only offer food services by delivery, curbside pickup drive through or carry out, starting monday.

Also, until monday, all restaurants are asked to limit in house dining to 50 percent of occupancy limits or 20 people at a time, whichever is less.

And recreational entertainment businesses, such as skating rinks, bowling alleys and arcades are ordered to close.

Other parts of the executive order will be amended.

"on restaurants closing at 9 pm we will clarify that, we mean establishments that serve alcohol must close at 9 pm , others will be allowed to continue at normal hours by to go or carry out only, we will go day by day with other provisions, make sure we are doing the right thing."

Standup bridge mayor shelton said all leaders in all levels of government are sailing in unchartered waters when it comes to what actions to take to limit exposure and halt the spread of the coronavirus.

The measures that are being taken will have an impact on businesses and the economy.

Local leaders are doing what they can to keep the public safe, and help businesses at the same time.

"the thing with this, unlike natural disasters, where there's a beginning and an end to them, we don't know where the end is, we are still trying to figure out when virus will peak and when it will subside, nobody knows the answer to that, not even the medical community, that is frustrating, but at the same time you have to understand this is an unprecedented time."

The mayor plans to issue a new executive order monday to address day care facilities, if no state or federal guidelines are issued .

In tupelo, allie martin, wcbi news the mayor also banned hotels from serving breakfast buffets.

Also, many city employees are now being allowed to work from home.

Vo off top starkville city leaders are also putting new limitations on restaurants and social gatherings..

In a special call meeting, aldermen passed an ordinance limiting restaurants to takeout service only, and restricting the number of people who can gather at one place to 10.

This includes places such as churches..

Hair salons.... and gyms... if someone is caught violating the ordinance.... mayor lynn spruill says they'll be fined $1000 per day.

"as it stands right now we are not sharing offices, we're not shutting down businesses, we're saying consider the cdc rule and use that as a guideline for those social time gathering locations."

Spruill says places such as grocery stores... gas stations... pharmacies... and hospitals are excluded from the ordinance..

The new changes will take effect immediately vo six area funeral homes develop plans to help loved ones say goodbye during the spread of covid-19.

Lowndes county coroner greg merchant says the end-of-life service providers agreed to three rules.

The first is to limit private visitations to family members only and allowing up to 25 people to be present.

Arrangement conferences will be limited to five people.

Graveside, chapel or place of the customer's choosing will be available to 25 people, as long as social distancing can be maintained.

For a list of the funeral homes, go to our website... wcbi dot com.

Wipe to gfx the mississippi state department of health is making changes to how you receive medical care during the covid-19 outbreak.

Doctors and hospitals must defer elective surgical and diagnostic procedures.

Patients must reschedule.

Providers and patients should reschedule non- urgent medical appointments.

Dentists must delay non- emergency or routine procedures.

The department of health says this will protect patients and healthcare professionals.

Health leaders say this also preserves medical equipment, during this ongoing shortage.

Wipe to vo baptist golden triangle hospital is making some big changes for its patients and visitors.

Only one person can be with a patient in the emergency room.

No visitors will be allowed in the transitional care or behavioral health unit.

Patients that are in isolation will not be allowed to have visitors.

The columbus facility believes the next 14 days are critical in the covid-19 outbreak.

Hospital administrators say this policy is subject to change.

First look stinger first look if you're looking for a day to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air, saturday is your best bet.

Rain will build back in for sunday with rain chances persisting into next week.

Temperatures will be on the warm side with highs anywhere from 10- 15 degrees above average.

Friday night: rain exits by 10pm, leaving us with a few clouds.

Lows will be in the low 50s with northwesterly winds.

Saturday: while a few morning sprinkles can't be ruled out, most of the day will be dry.

Some clouds will linger, but we'll see at least a few peeks of sunshine with highs in the mid 60s.

Saturday night: clouds will once again increase with chances for rain developing late.

Temperatures will fall into the mid and upper 40s.

Sunday: widespread rain showers will persist through the day, making sunday a great day to stay indoors.

Highs in the mid 60s.

No storms are anticipated as this will just be a rain- starting monday.... all classes at mississippi state will be taught online..

Students and faculty have been preparing for the big change..

Quentin smith speaks with instructors about this new method of teaching... he joins us live in the studio with more.... joey..

This is this is a big move that no one saw coming when the semester first started... but university leaders say it's the best option as they deal with the coronavirus outbreak... even though the teaching method is changing.... instructors say students will still learn everything they need to be successful in their respective courses... lights, camera, action.... nat this is one of the many ways professors at mississippi state will now conduct their lectures... they'll be recorded and posted online... chris misun is a broadcast instructor at msu and is used to having face to face interactions with students...kind of like this.

He admits, having to switch online is a unique situation for the broadcasting department.

"working in broadcasting, i know how important it is for us to do hands-on projects with the students and i gave them that instruction, and for the students to lose out on that is very challenging for us."

But it's a challenge they're taking head on... " there's been a lot of researching on my end for trying to come up with projects that the students can do at home now.

We've had a lot of group projects coming up for the rest of the semester and so now it's finding ways to turn those into individual projects that are still challenging for the students, and giving them the tools that they need to move onto the next portion of their degree."

Misun says he's taking advantage of resources on campus and..

He's even having to get creative... one innovative tool he's having students use for projects... is their cell phones.

"essentially they could do all of their projects from their mobile phone because you can edit on your phone, and you can then export it out to google drive from your phone, or microsoft one drive, and then you can upload your project that way.."

While this transition is new to some departments, others are accustomed to being online.

The center for distance education has over 50 programs online.

Due to their expertise, they've held two dozen training sessions this week to ensure students and faculty have all of the tools they need to be successful.... " mississippi state have done a phenomenal job in thinking about so many aspects of what is needed.

Do all of our students have internet access that they are going to need, or the technologies that they are going to need, are they going to have the textbooks.

We work to get the textbooks so they can have those online, and just really trying to think of everything so all of our students have the opportunity to be successful."

With things now being switched online..

Mitchell memorial library will still be available to students... faculty..

And staff... students are not allowed to work in groups..

The library will be open from 9 am until 3 pm... the coronavirus is affecting the way real estate agents conduct business.

For the time being, open houses are limited, to help people maintain social distancing, recommended by the cdc.

Many realtors are increasing their use of technology, particularly social media, to show and market homes and connect with clients.

When it is necessary for people to physically come to a house, one real estate broker has some suggestions.

"make sure you have hand sanitizer available, maybe some wipes, or whatever, and open some doors, open any door you think someone may want to look inside, this is not going to be something that will last a long time, i believe tupelo and northeast mississippi will be insulated from a lot of stuff that will go on in dallas, houston , atlanta and some of the larger areas, but we will have a very solid market."

Market."

Is also encouraged by an upswing in new home construction across northesat mississippi.

Stinger even though we're dealing with the uncertainty of the coronavirus, there is some good coming out of it.

We take a look at the brighter side when we come back..

During this national crisis many acts of kindness are happening across the area// our scott martin joins us live in studio with a look at what's happening// joey, we're really seeing some of that southern hospitality in action throughout this outbreak.

From neighbor helping neighbor, to just a simple smile from the window, these small gestures are making us all smile and we want to share those with you.

Churches are joining in too// no doubt those in the medical field are working tirelessly in making sure we all stay healthy// members of mount vernon church in columbus prepared 20 buckets full of snacks and deleivered them to the hospital// on it's facebook page the church says it's just wanting to show our medical professionals a little love.

The church is also offering free wifi it its fellowship center monday through thrusday from 9am to 3pm// wipe to vo reed's gumtree bookstore isn't letting the virus keep them from story time...they're just having to do it a little differently.

Every friday is story time there at the book store.

Jack reed junior reads a couple of books to a group of kids.

Today though, he did it through facebook live.

Story time will be held online until the store is open back up to the public.

Right now the plan is to open in april but they plan to keep doing it on facebook live to get more people involved.

Stinger wx open if you're looking for a day to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air, saturday is your best bet.

Rain will build back in for sunday with rain chances persisting into next week.

Temperatures will be on the warm side with highs anywhere from 10- 15 degrees above average.

Friday night: rain exits by 10pm, leaving us with a few clouds.

Lows will be in the low 50s with northwesterly winds.

Saturday: while a few morning sprinkles can't be ruled out, most of the day will be dry.

Some clouds will linger, but we'll see at least a few peeks of sunshine with highs in the mid 60s.

Saturday night: clouds will once again increase with chances for rain developing late.

Temperatures will fall into the mid and upper 40s.

Sunday: widespread rain showers will persist through the day, making sunday a great day to stay indoors.

Highs in the mid 60s.

No storms are anticipated as this will just be a rain- only event.

Monday-tuesday: chances for off- and-on showers continue into the early portion of the week under a mostly overcast sky.

Highs will be in the 70s with morning lows in the upper 40s and 50s.

Wednesday- thursday: while rain chances will continue into the middle portion of the week, shower activity won't be as widespread.

I think you'll be able to sneak in some outdoor time, but you may have to dodge some raindrops here or there.

Temperatures will climb into the upper 70s on wednesday and the mid 80s on thursday.

Friday-next weekend: looking ahead, a few spotty showers remain possible on friday, otherwise stinger tyson carter may tyson carter may have taken his last jumpshot in starkville, but the carter name will be forever a part of bulldogs basketball we sit down with the carter family next in sports... spx mississippi state guard tyson carter learned the love of the game straight from another basketball bulldog...his very own dad raised by former all-sec player greg carter...not only did carter learn to love the game, he learned to live for it wcbi sports' chris bolton sat down with the father- son duo to talk about that special basketball bond... "..i don't think he wants to play me ...."

When we return...chief meteorologist keith gibson will have a last look at your forecast.

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