Michael Watson

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COVID-19 Tips, Resources and Relief Efforts

Thursday, July 30, 2020



COVID-19 Cases in Mississippi

As of Thursday, July 30, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported 1,775 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in our state to 57,579 and the total number of deaths to 1,611. Currently, there are more than 900 people hospitalized due to the virus.

It’s important to remember that these are more than just statistics. Each number represents a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, or a neighbor. I’m encouraging all Mississippians to think beyond yourself and your household. As we continue the fight against COVID-19, let us all adopt a mindset and habits that lead to a safer and healthier Mississippi.

Click here for COVID-19 guidance and prevention tips.

Click here to view a map of COVID-19 cases.


Safe Return Order Extended

The Governor extended the Safe Return order for an additional two weeks and added eight counties to the list of locations operating under tighter social distancing measures. The following counties have been added to the county-specific Executive Orders: Carroll, Coahoma, Jones, Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Noxubee, and Pontotoc Counties. As of today, 37 of the state’s 82 counties are under a mask mandate.

The Safe Return order will expire at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 17.

Click here to view an overview of COVID-19 Executive Orders.


Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation

Some Mississippians may be eligible to receive additional financial assistance through the extended Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. According to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security (MDES), notification letters were mailed out to potentially eligible claimants, instructing them how to file for the PEUC program.

President Donald Trump signed Public Law 116-136, The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. This law includes relief for workers affected by the Coronavirus Act and creates the temporary PEUC federal program that provides up to thirteen (13) additional weeks of PEUC benefits to eligible individuals in all states.

Those who may be eligible include:

  • Individuals who have exhausted all rights to regular unemployment compensation under state or federal law and have an expired benefit year ending on or after July 1, 2019;
  • Individuals who have no rights to regular compensation under any other state and federal law;
  • Individuals who are able to work, available for work, and actively seeking work, in accordance with state and federal requirements.

The PEUC program is 100 percent federally funded. These additional thirteen weeks of PEUC benefits are only payable for weeks after March 29, 2020.

Click here for more information.


USDA Launches New Farmers.gov Features to Help Farmers Hire Workers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) announced new features to its Farmers.gov website. The additions are designed to help facilitate the employment of H-2A workers.

The primary new H-2A features on Farmers.gov:

  • Includes a real-time dashboard that enables farmers to track the status of their eligible employer application and visa applications for temporary nonimmigrant workers.
  • Streamlines the login information so if a farmer has an existing login.gov account they can save multiple applications tracking numbers for quick look-up at any time.
  • Enables easy access to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG).
  • Allows farmers to track time-sensitive actions taken in the course of Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) adjudication of temporary labor certification applications.
  • Allows farmers to access all application forms on-line.




MageeNews.com is an online news source serving Simpson and surrounding counties as well as the State of Mississippi.


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