Schools closed next week, Governor Reeves declares State of Emergency

Published 2:56 pm Saturday, March 14, 2020

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NATCHEZ — Natchez public and private schools will be closed through next week after Governor Tate Reeves declared a state of emergency to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Natchez Adams School District, Adams County Christian School and Cathedral will be closed Monday through Friday this week, March 16 through 20, school officials said.

District Superintendent Fred Butcher said school administrators will attend a strategic planning meeting at the Braden Administration Building at 2 p.m. Sunday regarding the closure and other measures in response to COVID-19.

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A news release from the capital states that the declaration of a state of emergency would allow state officials to ramp up Mississippi’s coordinated response across all levels of government and provide health officials and administrators with the necessary tools and guidance to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The state has six confirmed presumptive cases of COVID-19 that require further testing from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mississippi Department of Health records state.

Three of the six cases were reported in Forrest County and one in Leflore, Pearl River and Copiah counties.

“Taking proactive measures to limit community spread, I have declared a state of emergency to deploy the necessary resources to protect public health and take care of all Mississippians,” Reeves said. “We are not taking any chances. This is our latest step to respond to COVID-19, and it will not be our last. We will continue coordinating our response efforts and prioritizing the health and well-being for all who call Mississippi home.”

The Governor addressed the state via video shared on social media, which can be viewed here.

Throughout the rapidly changing events surrounding COVID-19, the Governor has been closely monitoring the situation and working closely with Dr. Thomas Dobbs and Director Greg Michel. The declaration enables the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to ramp up coordination among all state and local agencies and enable them to fast-track coordination at all levels of government in Mississippi.

“I urge all Mississippians to use caution,” Reeves said. “This is not a time to panic—we are acting calmly and steadily. In this state, we were prepared. We have a pandemic plan that is being followed to the letter. We have tremendous experts who are operating in a way that will protect the public health and save lives. We are listening to those experts, and following their lead every step of the way.”

More information and updates about COVID-19 in Mississippi are available at