Lauderdale County sets facility policies; Mississippi COVID-19 cases up to 80

Bill Graham / The Meridian Star 

The Lauderdale County Courthouse and Raymond P. Davis Annex Building  will remain open to the public with essential staff during the COVID-19 crisis. Beginning Monday, all visitors and employees will be required to have their temperature checked and answer a screening questionnaire before they are permitted to enter the buildings. The public will enter through the west entrances of each building off Constitution Avenue. 

The Agri-Center, tax collector’s office and the Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau are closed, and certain tax  services will be available online and through the mail.

UPDATED 10 a.m. Saturday, March 20:

The Mississippi Department of Health reported 60 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday morning, bringing the state's total to 140 as of Friday evening.

No cases have been confirmed in Lauderdale County or neighboring Clarke, Newton, Neshoba and Kemper counties.

Mississippi COVID-19 map March 20

Mississippi Department of Health COVID-19 map reported Saturday morning.

The highest totals reported were in DeSoto with nine and Hinds with seven.

Among the counties reporting their first cases are Attala, Clay, Union and Clay.


The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 Friday, bringing the state’s total to 80.

The new cases are in the following counties: Adams (1); Coahoma (1); DeSoto (2); Franklin (1); Hancock (1); Harrison (1); Hinds (1); Holmes (2); Humphreys (1); Jackson (1); Lafayette (1); Lawrence (1); Lee (1); Leflore (3); Madison (2); Marshall (1); Monroe (1); Pike (1); Rankin (3); Tippah (3); Webster (1).

As of Friday morning there were no reported confirmed cases in Lauderdale, Clarke, Kemper, Newton and Neshoba Counties.

The health department issued a recommendation Friday evening that all restaurant and bars suspend dine-in service for the foreseeable future.

Restaurants may still offer carryout or delivery orders.

“This will in no way affect gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores or food marts” MSDH State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs said in a statement.

MSDH also recommends that Mississippi residents not attend funerals, weddings, church services or other community or social events with expected attendance of more than 10 people.

The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors voted Friday morning to close the county agriculture center to the public effective immediately due to the coronavirus.

County offices will remain open to the public with essential staff, with the exception of the Agri-Center, tax collector’s office and the Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau. 

Certain tax collector office services will be available online and through the mail.

Beginning Monday, all visitors and employees at various county facilities, including the courthouse and Raymond P. Davis County Annex Building, will be required to have their temperature checked by health care professionals and answer a screening questionnaire before they are permitted to enter. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be asked to leave.

Access to the courthouse, annex building and youth court will be restricted to one entrance, beginning Monday. 

The public will enter the courthouse and annex building through the west entrances of each building off Constitution Avenue. 

Only the front entrance of youth court will be open.  

The Lauderdale County Detention Facility has suspended visitations.

The doors to the county jail and administrative offices will be locked through the rest of the week and weekend.

Animal Control is open by appointment.

County leaders will reassess plans next week.

Cleaning crews deep cleaned county facilities earlier in the week and continue to sanitize public surfaces.

The county has ordered sensor-operated hand sanitizer pumps and other additional cleaning supplies.

Under House Bill 1647, all county employees will continue to be paid, according to County Administrator Chris Lafferty. 

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