COVID-19 related closings, changes in East Mississippi

2020-04-18 | The Meridian Star

April 17-- Apr. 17--Here are some local businesses, organizations and events that have been affected by COVID-19.

State of Mississippi

--Gov. Tate Reeves announced public school students would not return to their schools this spring.

--A statewide stay-safe-in-place order has been extended until April 27 for all non-essential travel and businesses.

--The requirement for notarizing documents for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency has been waived. Additional information can be found at, by emailing or calling the Business Services Division at 601-359-1633.

City of Meridian

--City of Meridian Mayor Percy Bland has extended the city's shelter-in-place order to April 27, when the state's order expires. The city's 9 a.m. to 6 p.m curfew will remain in effect through April 30.

--Beginning on Monday, April 20 at 8 a.m., all non-essential businesses, including florists, bookstores and retail stores will be allowed to conduct curbside sales. Grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, gas stations, agricultural supply stores, medical supply stores and stores supplying first responders and healthcare workers may remain fully open.

--All city parks, playgrounds and basketball courts are closed, but walking trails at Bonita Lakes Park and Northeast Park's softball field and Sammie Davidson Softball Complex will reopen at 3 p.m. Friday, April 17.

--Restaurants may only offer curbside service or delivery. Patrons may not come inside for pickup or use indoor or outdoor dining areas.

--Liquor stores may take orders and payment by phone or online and are limited to curbside delivery only.

--Bars, gyms, dance studios and clubs are ordered to close. Gyms may sell merchandise curbside beginning Monday, April 20.

--Barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors and tattoo parlors will remain closed until April 27.

--Daycares will be allowed to reopen on Monday, April 20 at 8 a.m.

--Approximately 50 to 60 percent of city employees will return to work on Monday, April 20.

--Animal control: The city of Meridian's animal shelter is closed for normal business hours for adoptions, owner surrenders, stray drop-offs and reclaims until further notice. Residents may call 601-485-1893 or 601-484-6845.

--Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library is closed.

--City of Meridian Parks and Recreation suspended all indoor recreational activities, including the Meridian Activity Center, Velma Young Community Center and the Dentzel Carousel.

Lauderdale County

--The Raymond P. Davis County Annex Building closed until April 20.

--Recycling is suspended in the county until further notice.

The following are closed to the public through April 20 or until Executive Order No. 1465 is rescinded, modified, or extended: Lauderdale County Tax Collector, Lauderdale County Tax Assessor, Road and Bridge Department, Addressing, Agri Center, Tourism, Animal Control with the exception of emergencies: call 601-485-1956 or 601485-1849; Permit Dept. with the exception of appointments- call 601-484-3992; Veteran's Service Office with the exceptions of appointments, call 601-482-8911.

Town of Marion

Marion extended its shelter-in-place order one week until April 27. The town will continue to observe the curfew along with Meridian that is in place 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until April 30.

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

--State and regional offices are closed to the public.

--State lakes and park lakes is closed to the public.

--State parks is closed to the public. The Clark Creek Natural Area is closed.

--The Museum of Natural Science and North Mississippi Visitor Education Center are closed.

--MDWFP wildlife management areas remain open.


--Mississippi State University-Meridian campus buildings are closed to comply with Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order. The College Park and Riley campuses will be accessible only to university police. All on-campus activities through the spring semester, including campus rentals, are canceled.

Spring commencement will be held online with ceremonies broadcast at 2 p.m. on May 1. Baccalaureate and master's degree candidates may purchase regalia at a special rate commensurate with the usual rental rates.

Regalia will be mailed to those who decide to purchase it, and graduates can bring their regalia to the Meridian campus in the fall for pictures. A reception will be scheduled in August at which Meridian graduates will be congratulated by faculty and take photographs. Students planning to order regalia are urged to do so as quickly as possible. Graduates can participate in the traditional December graduation ceremonies with their regalia if they wish. The school's Student Services Office will reach out with more details and the process to sign up for December Commencement.

--Meridian Community College is closed to comply with Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order. The campus will be accessible only to campus police. All online classes will continue as scheduled. Support will be available at Faculty and staff will be available through email and voicemail. All on-campus activities through the spring semester, including graduation are canceled. Campus rentals are canceled.

--Mississippi public schools are closed through the remainder of the school year, following a directive by Gov. Tate Reeves.

--St. Patrick School transitioned to distance learning and the campus is closed for the semester.

--Lamar School transitioned to distance learning. The campus is restricted to essential personnel only between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

--Pentecostal Christian Academy in Meridian is closed through the semester.

--Russell Christian School is closed through the remainder of the school year.

--Mississippi State University is temporarily waiving GMAT and GRE testing requirements for students applying to the university's graduate programs. All other requirements will still need to be met for admission into a student's graduate program. For more information, call 662-325-7400 or email or visit

--East Central Community College: Students and members of the public should not visit the campus or off-campus sites. For details visit

--East Mississippi Community College canceled all campus activities and events for the remainder of the semester.

--The University of West Alabama moved classes online.

--The Mississippi State University Extension Service postponed all of its in-person events, trainings and meetings across the state. Resources are available at

--Mississippi Public Universities: the deadline to submit supporting documents, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), in order to qualify for the HELP Grant, a state-supported student financial aid program, is April 30. HELP Grant applicants should file the FAFSA online at Students can get free, virtual assistance with FAFSA completion by contacting the non-profit Get2College at or (601) 321-5533.


--Mississippi Department of Health states all non-essential surgeries, procedures and appointments, including dental appointments, must be rescheduled.

--East Mississippi State Hospital and the James T. Champion and Reginald P. White nursing facilities in Meridian suspended all off-campus visitors.

--All four Mississippi State Veterans Homes implemented a no-visitor policy.

--Bedford Care Centers, including its facility in Marion, are restricting visitors to all centers.

--Bee Hive Home of Marion is on lock down and closed to outside visitors. Staff and residents are screened daily for COVID-19 virus.

--The Queen City Nursing Center is restricting visitors.

--J.T. Champion Nursing Home is not accepting visitors.

--Alliance Health Center in Meridian is open for services and is screening all individuals who enter the facility. All in-person visitation has been suspended (with limited critical exceptions). Alliance strongly encourages the use of electronic methods to stay connected with loved ones, including telemedicine, zoom and extended phone time. Community education programs may be canceled/postponed. Follow Alliance on Facebook for updates.

--Anderson Regional Medical Center: No visitors are allowed until further notice, with the following exceptions: laboring moms, spouse/partner, must remain with the patient from admit through discharge; pediatric hospital (including NICU); emergency and clinic patients, on parent/guardian per day, must be screened between 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; end of life situations, spouse/significant other and immediate family (two at a time); patients undergoing emergency surgery, one support person; Tom C. Maynor Rehab Center patients, one person for discharge training; clinic patients requiring assistance with entry into the clinic or ambulation inside the clinic will be assisted by a staff member.

--Rush Health Systems: No hospital visitors will be allowed until further notice, with the following exceptions. One visitor is allowed per day. Laboring moms -- spouse/partner; Pediatric patients (including NICU) -- parent/guardian (one per day); End of life situations -- spouse/significant other/adult children; Patients undergoing emergency surgery -- one support person. All essential visitors will be screened through temperature checks and appropriate questioning. --Patients with a visitor who we have deemed essential will be limited to one visitor per day. --Visitors should stay in the patient room for the duration of the visit. Clinic visitors --There should be NO visitors for clinic visits, except for pediatric visits with one parent/guardian.

--Meridian Medical Associates, PA is open and offering telehealth services, as well as phone service for those without an internet connection. Call (601) 553-2000 to schedule an appointment. Office Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 8:30 a.m. to noon.

--Internal Medicine Clinic of Meridian is offering tele-medicine/tele-health physician and nurse practitioner visits to their patients by using an audio/video internet connection. Patients that do not have this option can have a telephone consultation with their provider. To scheduled an appointment, call 601-483-5322.

--Deaconess Home Care has established protocols to deal with patients most at risk, or those suffering from COVD-19. Patients may be admitted 24/7. Contact: Shelley Whitehead, Deaconess Home Care, 334-590-0302 cell, 601-581-5066- deaconess office, 601-581-5074- deaconess fax, 601-653-9707- 24/7 efax.

--InTouch Health Philadelphia and Meridian locations are seeing medical and mental health patients daily. It is able to test for COVID-19. It is seeing patients over Zoom, in office, and in their cars curbside if needed. 601-781-8677 (Philadelphia) -- 601-512-0927 (Meridian).

--The Urology Health Foundation's free prostate cancer screening scheduled in Livingston, Alabama on Saturday, April 11, has been postponed.

--Mississippi Optometric Association reminds state residents that eye and vision emergencies should still be treated by your family eye doctor rather than emergency rooms. Examples of emergencies could include trauma to the eye, red eye, painful eye, flashes of light, floaters in vision, strange or sudden changes in vision, or the need to monitor a pre-existing condition. To locate a Doctor of Optometry near you, visit and click on Your Family Eye Doctor.


--Wesley House Community Center, 1520 8th Ave., Meridian, has updated its services.

The center will distribute family food bags, from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays beginning April 22 in front of the Wesley House for drive by and walk-up clients.

Travelers bags will be available from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays.

People seeking bill pay assistance may apply online anytime by forwarding their information to

The Clothes Closet is closed until further notice and can not accept donations.

The Wesley Hose pre-school will accept students as soon as the center determines it is safe to do so.

People wishing to make donations may call the front desk from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Thursday at 601-485-4736 X 0, Monday-Thursday.

The Child Advocacy Center continues to work through its referrals. Those with questions may call 601-485-4736 X26

For assistance through the Sexual Assault Crisis Center, call the 24 hotline at 601-482-2828.

--Canopy Children's Solutions is offering to help families navigate different system of resources for free when they are faced with a family crisis, such as unemployment, food instability, utility assistance and mental health challenges. For assistance, individuals can call 800-388-6247.

--Multi-County Community Service Agency for Lauderdale County is closed until Monday, April 20.

--Alcoholics Anonymous at 3573 19th St. is temporarily closed. For information on meetings or if you need to speak with someone, call 601-527-6669.

--Linda's Transportation sitting service is closed until futher notice.

--Aerus Electrolux, 1817 6th St., Meridian, sells in home wellness and house cleaning products including vacuums, bags, shampooers and floor buffers. Service and supplies for all vacuums. Air Purification with Active Pure Technology and HEPA Filtration. Call 601-485-2425 or 601-917-5885.

--Tractor Supply Company will be open 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

--World of Flowers hours of operation are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday to Friday. No in-store shopping. Curbside pick up is available during current hours and "Distancing Delivery" is available in Lauderdale County with no delivery fee. 601-482-1767.

--Fitness Depot has hospital-grade, disinfectant free to the community at all of its locations. The cleaner is in 30-gallon barrels with self serve pumps, please just bring your own bottles to fill. Several clinics, nursing homes and medical are using the service. There are locations in Meridian, Laurel, Ellisville, Columbia and Picayune. There is also a barrel located at Dwelling Place Church in Collins.

--Crooked Letter is open online at and via phone at 601-207-5072. Curbside pickup is available 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Friday.

--Mimmo's has temporarily closed all its restaurants.

--Jean's is open at 820 22nd Avenue, Meridian, for takeout, curbside-delivery and delivery within 10 miles of downtown Meridian for orders over $45. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. The phone number is 601-692-7042.

--NAS Meridian commanding officer has directed his employees to conduct distributed workforce protocol by teleworking from home. Other offices are reducing their workforce to half and tenant commands onboard the installation have their own procedures in place.

All visitors, without a military issued ID card, must complete a health questionnaire before being admitted.

All events and tours have been canceled or postponed through May 11. Facilities closed: barber and beauty shop; Andrew Triplett Library; Auto Hobby Shop; Subway and bowling located inside the McCain Recreation Center; Ponta Creek Community Recreation Complex including the office, paintball, retail/ticket sales and rentals; Fitness Center.

The chapel has suspended services and will be conducting them online. The Protestant pastor and Catholic Chaplain remain on duty for all counseling services or religious needs for the military.

The Regional Counterdrug Training Academy has postponed all classes and is closed.

The NEX main store and NEX Mini-Mart have reopened following a deep cleaning procedure.

The branch health clinic and pharmacy remain opens but is screening patrons when they arrive for the safety of our healthcare providers. Dental and optometry are open to active-duty only. No exams or appointments for retirees.

The Commissary is open but has implemented a 100-percent ID check. Only ID cardholders are admitted and no visitors are allowed at this time. The golf course will remain open only for people who would like to walk the course.

--East Mississippi Realtors office is closed.

--Mississippi Department of Health recommends all restaurants close their dine-in facilities. It also recommends state residents avoid attending funerals, weddings or any event of more than 10 people.

--Community Bank is restricting lobby access at its locations. Digital banking is encouraged. The staff is available in the lobby by appointment.

--Citizens National Bank will be closed on Saturday, April 18. On week days, the bank is restricting lobby access at its locations. The staff is available in the lobby by appointment by calling 601-693-1331. Digital banking is encouraged. Drive-thru windows are opened during normal business hours.

--The Citizens Bank branch lobbies are available by appointment only.

--The Meridian Star business office is closed to walk-ins. Our office will still be open and we will able to assist you by phone 601-693-1551 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. In person appointments may be made by calling in advance.

--The Mississippi Children's Museum has temporarily closed the Jackson facility to children and families.

--Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal government officials and Pearl River Resort Executive leaders temporarily closed all Pearl River Resort properties. The Pearl River Resort properties impacted include: Silver Star Hotel and Casino, Golden Moon Hotel and Casino, Bok Homa Casino. Not affected by the closure are the Dancing Rabbit Golf Course, Dancing Rabbit Inn, Pearl River Graphics Printing and the Welcome Center.

--Walmart expanding the availability of its pickup service. Each day from 7-8 a.m. will be reserved for customers over the age of 60, as well as first responders, customers with disabilities and anyone designated high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to pickup their Walmart order curbside and contact-free.

--Winn-Dixie designated 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday to Friday as special hours for seniors and high-risk customers. The grocer will also open all pharmacy locations at 8 a.m. on weekdays to for those same customers.

--Social Security offices are closed to the public for in-person service. Phone service is available 1-800-772-1213 or

--AARP Tax-Aide programs that were scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays have been suspended.

--Bonita Lakes Mall events have been canceled. This includes all common area events, outdoor events, and activities, until further notice.

--All TJ Maxx stores are closed.

--The Mississippi Museum of Art galleries are closed. The gardens will remain open.

--EMEPA offices are closed to walk-ins; drive-up windows remain open.

--Mississippi Power suspended customer disconnections through April 15.

--Dixie Electric Power Association closed its lobbies, but drive-through windows at all three locations will continue to remain open. Any current or future Dixie Electric member who needs to start or stop service can call (601) 425-2535 to handle those needs over the phone or make an appointment.

--Rotary Club of Meridian suspended its weekly Wednesday meetings until May 6.

--The Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi suspended visitors to the PERS building.

--The Meridian Activity Center suspended all scheduled classes and activities.


--The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department asks anyone who has flu-like symptoms or who is under quarantine or self-quarantine to notify dispatchers so first-responders will prepared when they answer your call.

--The Lauderdale County Detention Facility suspended visitations.

--Mississippi Department of Public Safety: All driver's license stations are closed to the public, except for the nine Mississippi Highway Patrol district troop stations across the state. The troop stations will provide only the following services: sex offender registry transactions, commercial driver's license card renewals (no testing) and commercial driver's license medical card updates. Visit for certain online transactions such as regular driver's license renewals.

--Mississippi Department of Corrections suspended the transfers of inmates from all county jails to MDOC custody. Visitation at all facilities suspended.

--Kemper Regional Correctional Facility: suspended all visitation.

--Keesler Air Force Base: Retirees are limited to shopping at the base grocery and shopping center on Tuesdays and Thursdays only, all day. The other days are reserved for operations critical members and their immediate family members, as well as airmen who are in training.


--The Mississippi Republican Party's state convention, originally scheduled for May 15 and 16, has been postponed. The MSGOP is postponing all precinct caucuses and county conventions that would have been held in April. The MSGOP also hopes to reschedule these events.

--The Knights of Columbus, following a directive from the Mississippi Gaming Commission due to COVID-19, suspended Wednesday night bingo until further notice.

--The Dixie Highway School Reunion is canceled this year.

--Your Health Matters event scheduled for April 24 at the Neshoba County Coliseum has been canceled.

--Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum is closed. Museum events have been canceled or rescheduled.

--Relay for Life of Lauderdale County has been postponed.

--Mississippi Veteran Affairs canceled the Mississippi County Veterans Service Officer Training, Biloxi, MS; April 14-17

--The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is closed. All events are canceled through April, including all facility rentals. Advance tickets will be honored on the rescheduled dates. For additional information, email, or call 601-255-4845 ext 0 and leave a message.

--Meridian Little Theatre's "Murder on the Menu" Dinner Theatre has been rescheduled to April 23, 24 and 25.

--The MSU Riley Center postponed spring shows. Rescheduled at MSU suspended all university-sponsored events and gatherings, including events sponsored by any registered student organization.

--At the Temple Theater, artist and songwriter Zach Williams' headline tour "The Rescue Story Tour" has postponed its visit to Meridian until the fall. Newsboys United -- 2020 Greatness of Our God Tour scheduled for April 25 has been postponed. The Price is Right Live scheduled for April 3 has been postponed until Friday, July 31. Tickets are available at the Box Office.


--The Lauderdale County School District is providing free to-go breakfast and lunch for children up to 18 years old. Children do not have to be a Lauderdale County student but must be present to claim their meal. No identification is required. Meals are distributed 11 a.m -- 1 p.m. Monday -- Friday at Clarkdale Attendance Center; Southeast High Northeast Elementary and West Lauderdale Middle. Children should remain in the vehicle and no admittance into the school is allowed. All meals must be consumed off-site.

--The Meridian Public School District and The Boys and Girls Club offer grab and go lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club at 1717 45th Ave. and the Boys and Girls Club at Velma Young Park, 1530 24th St. All children 18 and under can receive a lunch at no cost. Children must be present to receive a meal.

--The Enterprise School District is providing meal pick-up from 11 a.m. -- noon at the high school cafeteria for any student 18 years of age or younger.

--The Newton Municipal School District suspended meal service. On Monday April 20, the district will begin offering breakfast and lunch to children ages 0-18. The bus route schedules will remain the same. Meals will be provided only on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at Newton Elementary School from 11 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m. That will be the only cafeteria open to the community.

--The Union Public School District offers to-go meals, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Union High School. The meals are free for anyone 18 years old and younger, including infants and toddlers. Children must be present to receive a meal. Adult meals are $3.50 (cash only). The district is delivering meals at the following times and locations: 10:30 a.m. at North Street Apartments and County Line Baptist Church; 11 a.m. at Evans Tabernacle; 11:15 a.m. at Emmanuel Baptist Church and 11:30 a.m. at Neshoba Baptist Church.

--The Philadelphia Public School District offers free to-go meals for any child 18 years and younger at the Philadelphia High School cafeteria. Children must be present to receive a meal. Adults may purchase a meal for $3.75, cash only. Breakfast is available from 7:30 -- 8:30 a.m. and lunch is available from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

--Choctaw Tribal Schools students can pick up drive-thru lunches from 11 a.m. -- 1 p.m. at their respective schools.

--The Quitman School District is using only the high school cafeteria as its meal pickup area. Meal pickup will be Monday -- Wednesday only.

--The Pentecostal Christian Academy in Meridian provides daily (Monday -- Friday) drive -thru lunches for its students from 11:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m. Lunches will continue until school resumes.

--Wesley House Community Center will distribute family food bags, from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays beginning April 22 in front of the Wesley House, 1520 8th Ave., Meridian, for drive by and walk-up clients.

--Cash Saver on Frontage Road in Meridian is offering free breakfast and sack lunches to children. Breakfast can be picked up from 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and lunch is served from 1-2 p.m. The child must be present to receive a meal, and there is a one meal per child limit.

--Salvation Army, located at 120 6. Ave. South, serves to-go dinners from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Pastry boxes are distributed from 9-9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays and drive-thru for non-perishable food items is 9-11 a.m. on Mondays.

--L.O.V.E.'s Kitchen at 801 18th Ave. South serves lunch 11 a.m. -- noon Monday -- Saturday.

--Feed by Faith at 3401 Fifth St. serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday Friday. The dining area is closed to the public.

--McDonald's offers free coffee: Healthcare workers, police, firefighters and EMTs can receive a free cup of coffee at McDonald's restaurants around East Mississippi until April 30.

If you have a business, organization or event affected by COVID-19, please email