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Mississippi museums prep to reopen during COVID-19 pandemic

June 6, 2020 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — State-run museums in Mississippi will start reopening soon after being closed for several weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson will reopen Monday. The children’s barnyard has goats and lambs that were born during the shutdown, state Agriculture Commissioner Andy Gipson said Friday.

The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Museum of Mississippi History, which are side-by-side in downtown Jackson, are set to reopen July 7.

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The state Department of Archives and History made that announcement Thursday, also saying July 7 is the reopening date for the the Eudora Welty House & Garden and the William F. Winter Archives and History Building, which are both in Jackson, and of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians in Natchez.

The Health Department said Saturday that Mississippi — with a population of about 3 million — has had at least 16,769 cases and 803 deaths from the coronavirus as of Friday evening. That was an increase of 209 cases and nine deaths from the numbers reported a day earlier.

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 Saturday at least 1,969 cases of the virus have been confirmed in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, with at least 410 virus-related deaths in those facilities.

The department said 201,670 coronavirus tests had been conducted in Mississippi as of Friday; 8,862 of those were blood tests that detect whether a person has antibodies that usually show up after an infection is resolved.

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

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