COVID-19 related closings and changes in East Mississippi

Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star

A McDonald's North Frontage Road in Meridian employee with a gloved hand delivers a receipt to a drive-up customer. 

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


Mississippi public shools will be closed until April 17, following a directive by Gov. Tate Reeves.

Lamar School in Meridian transitioned to distance learning until Friday, March 27 when it will re-evaluate. The campus is restricted to essential personnel only between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

East Central Community College in Decatur spring break extended for students taking on-campus classes through March 27. ECCC students enrolled in online classes through MSVCC will continue with their regular schedule next week.

Meridian Community College canceled all on-campus activities through the spring semester, including graduation. Campus rentals are canceled.

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

The University of West Alabama will move all classes online starting April 6. 

MSU Meridian suspended classes for the week after spring break, March 16-22. The suspension applies to students only; faculty and staff will continue with normal operating procedures.

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


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.  

The Queen City Nursing Center is restricting visitors. 

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

Anderson Regional Medical Center: Individuals who are sick should avoid coming to the hospital to visit patients. People who have traveled in the past 21 days to regions where COVID-19 is present, will not be permitted to visit the hospital until 14 days after their return.

All “well visits,” where a child does not receive vaccines are postponed. All “well visits,” including med checks, will be in the morning only and sick visits will only be in the afternoon, the clinic said. Staff will call families Saturday or Sunday to reschedule existing appointments. The clinic is asking families to call first if they have a fever and cough.

Rush Health Systems: 

Visitation hours are from 7 a.m. -6 p.m. Visitation is limited to one adult per patient. No minor family members or visitors, ages 18 and under, will be allowed. Only one person may accompany a patient to the hospital, ambulatory clinic, or other offices for appointments or scheduled procedures. Rush is temporarily suspending visitor access into isolation rooms across the health system.

At Rush Foundation Hospital, there will be only three entrances for patients and visitors. Rush Foundation Hospital: main entrance through The Specialty Hospital of Meridian at 1314 19th Avenue; Rush Medical Group main entrance at 1800 12th Street; Rush Ambulatory Surgical Center. All visitors must check in at one of these points of entry and participate in a mandatory COVID-19 screening.

Patients and visitors will be screened.

Alliance Health Center and Rush Health Systems Spring Conference scheduled for March 19, at the MSU Meridian Branch has been postponed.


Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Tribal government officials and Pearl River Resort Executive leaders temporarily close all Pearl River Resort properties through March 31. No cases of COVID-19 have been detected or reported at any of the resort properties or on MBCI Tribal land. Hotel operations are suspended effective at noon on March 19, 2020 thru March 31. 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.

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.

All local Social Security offices will be 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 including The Easter Bunny. This includes all common area events, outdoor events, and activities, until further notice. The mall will operate between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day except for Sunday when the hours are 1 pm to 6 p.m. Retailers and the theater may implement their own corporate policies regarding modified hours or temporary store closures. 

Belk at Bonita Lakes Mall is closed until March 30, according to its website.

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

The Meridian Freedom Project is closed this week, and the organization is looking at ways to provide meals and resources to children while schools are closed, Executive director Adrian Cross said.

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

Mississippi Power suspended customer disconnections for the next 30 days, beginning Sunday March 15. 

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

The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) suspended visitors to the PERS building.

The Meridian Activity Center suspended all scheduled classes and activities until March 30. For more information, call 601-485-1812.


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 offering free to-go breakfast and lunch to all students under 18 from 11 a.m. to noon through Friday at the high school cafeteria. No eating is allowed on campus.

The Newton Municipal School District provides free to-go lunches for children ages 18 and under, including infants and toddlers from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. through Friday at all school cafeterias. Adults may purchase a meal for $4. No eating is allowed on campus.

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 do not have to be UPSD students and no identification is required, but children must be present to receive a meal. Adult meals are $3.50 (cash only).

Neshoba County Schools offers to-go meals, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Neshoba Elementary School. The meals are free for anyone 18 years old and younger, including infants and toddlers. Children do not have to be NCSD students. Adult meals are $3.50 (cash only).

The Philadelphia Public School District is offering 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.

Drive-thru lunches for Choctaw Tribal Schools students can be picked up at 11 a.m. through Friday at their respective schools.

The Kemper County School District is providing free to-go meals to all children 18 years and under from 10 a.m. to noon at both East Kemper Elementary and West Kemper Elementary through Friday.

The Quitman School District will being serving free lunch starting Thursday for all children 18 and under. A child must be present to receive a lunch and no more than 10 people can be in a receiving line at one time. Meals are offered at the following locations:

Quitman High School Cafeteria: 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bus #1 Quail Run Apartments: 10:30-11:05 a.m.

McKenzie Apartments: 11:15-11:50 a.m.

Piggly Wiggly: 11:55 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bus #2 Desoto Fire Department 10:30-11:05 a.m.

Shubuta Fire Department 11:15-11:50 a.m.

Shubuta Apartments 11:55 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bus #3 Carmichael Fire Department 10:30-11:25 a.m.

Theadville Fire Department 11:35 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Bus #4 Pachuta Library 10:30-11:25 a.m.

Beaverdam Fire Department 11:35 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Wesley House

Families can stop at the Wesley House at 1520 Eighth Ave. from 1-4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Adults must present identification and will receive a food bag for children in their care. Quantities may be limited and food will be distributed based on availability.

The Wesley House will also distribute its regular family food bags on a drive-thru basis. from 9 a.m. - noon daily and from 1- 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Other assistance will be handled on a case-by-case basis via fax and email. For more information, contact the Christian Relief Office at 601-485-4736 for this help. Donations may be sent to the Wesley House, P.O. box 1207, Meridian, MS 3930.

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.


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

All driver’s license stations are closed to the public, except for the nine Mississippi Highway Patrol district troop stations across the state until March 31, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety stated. 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: all visitation is suspended.


E911 dispatch is closed to the public.

The Lauderdale Tax Collector’s office is closed to the public for the rest of the week.

The 10th Circuit Court District is closed through March 27. Lauderdale County pre-trial conferences scheduled for March 20 are canceled and a Grand Jury scheduled for March 23 is canceled.

Meridian-Lauderdale County Public Library is closed through Saturday.

City of Meridian Parks and Recreation suspended all indoor recreational activities, including the Meridian Activity Center, Velma Young Community Center and the Dentzel Carousel. Outdoor facilities such as athletic fields, playgrounds and parks will remain open. 


Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum is closed. Maker Faire Meridian 2020 scheduled for April 4-5 has been canceled. All other museum events have been canceled or rescheduled.

Relay for Life of Lauderdale County has been postponed. 

Mississippi Veteran Affairs has canceled the following events:

• Women’s Veterans Symposium, Keesler Air Force Base; Friday, March 20

• Mississippi County Veterans Service Officer Training, Biloxi, MS; April 14-17

The 7th annual Martin Day scheduled for March 28, is canceled. 

The American Legion Post  Poker Run Fundraiser scheduled for March 28, in Decatur, is postponed. FMI:

The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX) will be closed through Monday, March 23. Events affected include: all facility rentals.

Meridian Little Theatre’s “Murder on the Menu” Dinner Theatre has been rescheduled to April 23, 24 and 25.

The MSU Riley Center postponed Bruce Hornsby and Lula Del Ray shows. MSU suspended all university-sponsored events and gatherings, including events sponsored by any registered student organization, through March 23. 

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 Meridian Symphony Orchestra postponed Symphony Doo-Dah.

The Threefoot Festival in Meridian has been postponed to a later date, possibly in the fall. 

Earth’s Bounty canceled its April 4 market, postponing the start of its season until  May 2.


The gospel concert featuring “The Kingsmen Quartet” at Salem Baptist Church, Lake, Sunday., March 29 has been canceled.

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

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