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Mississippi Coronavirus Update June 24, 2020

Dear Friend,

I am working hard to keep you up-to-date with the most recent news from my office. Please feel free to forward this email to your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe to my newsletter.

Growing Cases of Coronavirus in Mississippi

The number of coronavirus cases in Mississippi is rising. After crossing the threshold of 600 daily cases earlier his week, Dr. Thomas Dobbs spoke about the importance of personal action to prevent a second large spike in coronavirus cases. Dr. Dobbs highlighted the need for responsible actions, including the use of masks in public.

I am working with a bipartisan group of Members of Congress to help ensure that our hospitals are able to continue to operate in the event of a spike in cases. My legislation, the PPP Access for Rural Hospitals Act, will make our rural hospitals eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In the meantime, I encourage everyone, especially those at higher risk, to use caution in the coming days, weeks, and months when in public. In the last few months, all of us have become well-versed in the safety measures to mitigate our risk to the coronavirus. For the next few months, we must remain diligent. Continue to wash your hands, avoid large crowds, and wear your mask when in public areas.

PPP Loan Deadline and Loan Forgiveness Applications

The deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans is fast approaching. Next Tuesday, June 30th is the application deadline for submitting your loan request. These loans are forgivable if the money is used to maintain certain levels of employment within the business and/or pay rent, mortgage interest, and utility bills. For more information about the application process, please visit the Paycheck Protection Program website.

For those with existing PPP loans, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department have announced a new, borrower-friendly PPP loan forgiveness application that includes updated provisions stipulated in the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.

I have advocated for a more streamlined PPP loan forgiveness application process for Mississippi’s small businesses and am pleased with these actions by the Treasury Department and the SBA.

COVID-19 Testing Sites and Resources

Individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or who have had a known exposure to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus can receive an appointment date for free COVID-19 testing by completing the online questionnaire found at umc.edu/covidscreening or by contacting the UMMC Center for Telehealth at (601) 496-7200 from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Anyone determined to need testing will be given an appointment date and time at the testing site most convenient. The testing site in Jackson has moved from the Mississippi State Fairgrounds to the West Street Farmers Market on Woodrow Wilson Avenue and is available from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day, except for Sunday.

  • June 25th - Noxubee County: Noxubee Civic Center, 16291 U.S. 45, Macon
  • June 25th - Quitman County: Lambert City Hall, 831 Scott Ave., Lambert
  • June 26th - Hancock County: Hancock County Courthouse, 8450 U.S. 90, Bay St. Louis
  • June 26th - Chickasaw County: Okolona Vocational Complex, 605 N. Church St., Okolona
  • June 27th - Rankin County: Pearl High School, 500 Pirates Cove, Pearl
  • June 27th - Union County: Union County Fairgrounds, 112 Fairgrounds Circle, New Albany
  • June 29th - Clarke County: Greenhill Missionary Baptist Church, 1240 Mississippi 510, Shubuta
  • June 29th - Hinds County: Edwards Community Center, 108 Mount Moriah Road, Edwards
  • June 30th - Adams County: Adams County Safe Room, 323 Liberty Road, Natchez
  • June 30th - Lafayette County arena, 70 F.D. Buddy E. Parkway, Oxford

I have compiled a list of resources on my website for your convenience. By visiting my Coronavirus Relief page, you can find helpful information on managing this crisis. We will continue to update the page as more information becomes available, so be sure to check back every few days and subscribe to my newsletter to receive updates.

Latest Statistics

As of Wednesday, June 24th, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 2,336,615 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States. From Tuesday to Wednesday, we saw 34,313 additional cases. The number of individuals who have passed away as a result of infection increased by 784 nationwide, and the total number of deaths in the U.S. from the virus is now 121,117.

Yesterday, Mississippi saw the highest number of new cases reported (611 new cases) of COVID-19 since the outbreak began. As reported today, an additional 526 Mississippians have contracted the coronavirus, and 22 more Mississippians passed away from the virus. In total, 272,513 Mississippians have been tested for COVID-19, and 17,242 COVID-19 cases are presumed to have recovered. See below for graphs and infographics from the Mississippi State Department of Health on the number of cases in Mississippi.

 

Sincerely,

 

Michael Guest
Member of Congress

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