Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has apparently come to DeSoto County.

Hernando Police Chief Scott Worsham Tuesday night confirmed that an employee in his department had apparently tested positive for the virus that is rampantly crossing the country and globe.

Worsham said the employee is being treated, in quarantine, and is off the job. The Hernando police chief added his department is taking the needed measures to keep the department clean and safe.

“We have been heavily sanitizing the building, as well as providing alcohol wipes to employees to enhance sanitation, and of course following best practices of hygiene, washing hands, etc.,” Worsham said.

The positive test is yet to be confirmed by the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH), but if it is confirmed, the discovery would raise the number of positive cases for the virus to at least 22 in Mississippi, pending further discoveries elsewhere in the state.

The department updates its numbers on a daily basis with Tuesday morning being its last update. It then reported 21 positive cases and 389 tests taken.

The MSDH states on its website that tests are not done at county health department locations but those who believe they should be tested need to contact their primary care physician or healthcare provider.

Of the 21 reported cases, six have come from Hinds County, including four new cases reported on Tuesday.

Preventing the spread of coronavirus continues to be as easy as good hygiene.

Frequent washing of hands, at least for 20 seconds as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, use of hand sanitizers, and avoiding contact with public surfaces, are practical ways of protecting oneself from the virus. It is also recommended people refrain from touching parts of the face, including eyes, nose, and mouth.

The CDC this week has instituted guidelines that recommend no public gatherings of more than 10 people for at least the next two weeks. Several governmental and public bodies have suspended or canceled events to adhere to the edict and private functions have been strongly encouraged to do the same. 

People who feel sick are strongly encouraged to stay at home until the flu-like or fever conditions have passed and avoid those who are ill.

Cover your coughs and sneezes. When possible, cough, sneeze or blow your nose into a tissue, and throw the tissue away.

If you are sick, especially with shortness of breath, severe cough, fever or severe chest pain, call a doctor or healthcare provider for instructions on being safely examined.