Published on March 23, 2020

NMHS, City of Tupelo Partner on COVID-19 Updates

TUPELO, Mississippi – North Mississippi Health Services and the City of Tupelo are working together to raise the community’s awareness of COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing capabilities provided by the State of Mississippi have been available for a week now in northeast Mississippi.  Capabilities provided by the state include “testing kits” for local providers to use in collecting and transporting specimens, which are then sent to the state lab or an outside lab for processing.  The state or outside lab sends the results of each test to the site that collected the specimen or to the provider, as directed by the order.  The total time from collection of the specimen to receipt of the results by the provider could be four days or more.  Mississippi’s state lab has prioritized processing of tests for these individuals as follows:

  1. Hospitalized patients
  2. Exposed healthcare workers
  3. Non-hospitalized patients

North Mississippi Health Services’ experience during the first week of testing is:

•             338 total collections sent to the State of Mississippi

•             141 of 338 are still pending results

•             17 tests were positive; 7 of those 17 positives are patients hospitalized within our healthcare system and 10 are quarantined at home

“We all should continue emphasizing the importance of precautions recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and support actions taken by our government officials to promote social distancing and avoiding group gatherings,” said Shane Spees, NMHS president and chief executive officer.  “These precautions protect your family, neighbors and you.  We know that prevention and containment are the best means currently available to limit the impact of COVID-19.  Prevention and containment measures will not only limit the viral spread but will help ensure that needed healthcare services are not overwhelmed and remain available to all who need care, not just COVID-19 patients.”

“Our area is extremely fortunate to have one of the nation’s best medical centers right here in Tupelo.  By working together and following the guidance of our medical team, we can do our part to flatten the curve,” said Mayor Jason Shelton, City of Tupelo.

Visit or for timely updates on COVID-19 (coronavirus). The CDC offers a symptom checker to help individuals determine their risk. The handy Coronavirus Self-Checker, located at, suggests what steps to take based on information provided. NMHS is following CDC criteria for testing and treatment.

In addition to this offering from the CDC, area residents may call Nurse Link at 1-800-882-6274 for answers to questions about the coronavirus and NMHS locations. The free service, which is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, connects callers with information to address health care concerns.

For More Information

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