COVID-19 related closings, changes in East Mississippi

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Meridian city playgrounds will be allowed to re-open on Friday, except Planet Playground which is undergoing drainage construction.

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

State of Mississippi

• Mississippi Department of Public Safety: All driver’s license stations will open Monday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Wednesday.   

Visitors may visit the stations only on the day of the week that corresponds with the first letter of their last name, with walk-ins permitted on Wednesdays, according to a news release. Monday: A-E; Tuesday: F-L; Wednesday: "Walk-in Wednesday;" Thursday: M-S; Friday: T-Z.

Reeves is encouraging people to wear masks inside the stations.

Road tests for non-commercial drivers are waived until futher notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On May 29, Reeves extended executive Stay Safer in Place orders until 8 a.m. Monday, June 8 for high COVID-19 impact counties. That includes the order that requires businesses in Lauderdale, Holmes, Jasper, Neshoba and Wayne counties, among other requirements, to screen employees at the start of their shifts, require appropriate PPE when a distance of 6 feet cannot be kept and provide hand sanitizer.

Employees are required to notify employers of any symptoms of COVID-19. For retail businesses in those counties, among other requirements, employees will be provided face masks and customers will be required to wear face masks. 

On May 27, Reeves announced that all businesses in Mississippi will be permitted to reopen with certain restrictions. Museums, movie theaters, libraries, ballparks, reception halls, conference centers, bowling alleys and playgrounds may reopen, along with public school buildings used for summer programs.

The Safe Return order is in effect until Monday, June 15.

When social distancing is not possible, groups are limited to gatherings of 20 people or less indoors and 50 people or less outdoors, according to the order.

When social distancing is possible, groups are limited to gatherings of 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors.

For youth sports, players must be screened by a coach before entering the field, dugouts are closed and parents and guardians must remain in their cars during practice. 

Indoor places of amusement must be deep-cleaned before they can open and no more than 50% of maximum capacity is allowed.

Bowling balls, trampolines and other equipment used by customers must be sanitized after each use.

Visits to hospitals and nursing homes remain prohibited with some exceptions, such as visits to patients receiving end-of-life care or maternity patients.

City of Meridian

• City of Meridian Under a city order, all businesses within the city must ask staff, customers and vendors to wear masks inside the building until further notice, Mayor Percy Bland said. 

• City playgrounds will reopen Friday, June 5, with the exception of Planet Playground which is undergoing drainage construction. The city anticipates opening Planet Playground on June 12.

• The city’s 9 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew is in effect until June 14. 

• 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.

• 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

• Animal Control – Owner surrenders/stray: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (appointments only); Adoptions: 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.


Lauderdale County School District graduation plans, with make-up dates:

West Lauderdale: 8 p.m. on June 22 on the football field; make up date is 8 p.m. on July 9.

Northeast: 8 p.m. on June 23 on the football field; make up date is 8 p.m. on July 7

Clarkdale: 8 p.m. on June 25 on the football field; makeup date is 8 p.m. on July 6

Southeast: 8 p.m. on June 26 on the football field; makeup date is 8 p.m. on July 10.


• 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). 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.


• C Spire is voluntarily extending a waiver on late fees for consumer and business wireless customers through June 30 as part of its support of the FCC’s “Keep America Connected” program. The company will not terminate service or impose late fees for wireless customers who notify C-Spire of an inability to pay their bills on time due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. For more information, visit

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

The center distributes family food bags, from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays 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.

• 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.

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 NEX main store and NEX Mini-Mart are open.

The branch health clinic and pharmacy remain open 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. 

• Walmart: Each day from 7-8 a.m.  is reserved for customers over the age of 60 and 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 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Monday to Friday as special hours for seniors and high-risk customers. 

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

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


• 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.

• Meridian Police Department and Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department are not issuing citations for expired drivers licenses. 

• 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.


• The Hwy 15 Yard Sale has been rescheduled to June 11-14.

The 2020 Choctaw Indian Fair scheduled July 8-11 is canceled.

The Neshoba County Fair scheduled July 24-31 is canceled.

• The Knights of Columbus suspended Wednesday night bingo until further notice.

• Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum is closed. 


• 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 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 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 is Monday - Wednesday only. 

• Wesley House Community Center distributes family food bags from 1-4 p.m. Wednesdays 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.

• 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.

The Salvation Army at 120 6th Ave., Meridian provides food distribution with a drive-thru from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday and Wednesday and an evening meal each night.

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

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