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Testing offered at Mississippi Capitol amid COVID-19 concern

June 16, 2020 GMT
In this Thursday, June 11, 2020 photo, signs line the street along South Church Street in Tupelo, Miss., to let drivers know where to go for free COVID-19 testing at the Family Resource Center. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)
In this Thursday, June 11, 2020 photo, signs line the street along South Church Street in Tupelo, Miss., to let drivers know where to go for free COVID-19 testing at the Family Resource Center. (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Free coronavirus testing was being conducted Tuesday at the Mississippi Capitol, a day after lawmakers were told that an employee in the building had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Legislature remained in session. Some lawmakers, lobbyists and others in the Capitol have been wearing masks, but some have not.

The Health Department said Tuesday that Mississippi has had at least 20,152 cases and 915 deaths from the coronavirus as of Monday evening. That was an increase of 353 cases and 20 deaths from the numbers reported a day earlier. The state has a population of about 3 million.

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The department said at least 15,323 people in Mississippi are presumed to have recovered from COVID-19, based on when they tested positive.

The number of coronavirus infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. For others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms and be fatal.

The Health Department said Tuesday at least 2,237 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 466 virus-related deaths in those facilities.

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Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.