COVID-19 related closings, changes in East Mississippi

Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star

Bonita Lakes playground is roped off Tuesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meridian Mayor Percy Bland announced Tuesday that all city parks will be closed for the next two weeks.

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

City of Meridian

• The city of Meridian is under a nightly citywide curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. through April 30. Residents may still travel to and from work or pharmacies or seek medical care.

From April 1 - April 14: 

• All retail shops, including Bonita Lakes Mall and Hobby Lobby are closed. The restrictions do not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores, hardware stores, gas stations, agricultural supply stores, medical supply stores and stores supplying first responders and healthcare workers.

• All city parks, playgrounds and basketball courts are closed, including Bonita Lakes Park and Northeast Park.

• Restaurants will remain open, but only with 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.

• Non-essential businesses listed in the mayor's order also include barber shops, beauty salons, nail salons, spas, massage parlors and tattoo parlors.

• All daycares are closed, except for those open to care for children of essential workers. 

• Only essential city employees will report to work, effective until Monday, April 20.

Lauderdale County

• The Raymond P. Davis County Annex Building will close Wednesday, April 1 for two weeks. Justice Court will move to another location, which has not been finalized yet.

• Recycling is suspended in the county until further notice.

The following are closed to the public through April 14 or until Executive Order No. 1465 is rescinded, modified, or extended: Lauderdale County Tax Collector, Lauderdale County Tax Assessor, Road and Bridge Department, Addressing, Agri Center, Tourism, Animal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.

Animal control

The city of Meridian’s animal shelter will be 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.


Mississippi State University-Meridian campus buildings will close effective 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 to comply with Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order. The College Park and Riley campuses will only be accessible to university police.  The order is effective through April 14. Online classes will continue as scheduled. All on-campus activities through the spring semester, including campus rentals, are canceled. 

Meridian Community College will close at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 to comply with Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order through April 14. 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 will be closed through April 17, following a directive by Gov. Tate Reeves.

• St. Patrick School and all Catholic schools in the Diocese of Jackson are closed through April 17.

• 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 April 17.

• Russell Christian School is closed through April 17.

• 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 essential personnel are to report to work on Monday. Students and members of the public should not visit the campus or off-campus sites. Essential personnel will prepare for a transition to virtual or alternative instructional delivery formats beginning on March 30. For details visit

• 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. 

• 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: 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.

• 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.


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.

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

 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).

• 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.

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

• 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.

• Multi-County Community Service Agency is closed through March 30 for office sanitation.

• 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 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. All drive-thru windows are opened during normal business hours.

• The Citizens Bank branch lobbies will be available by appointment only. The bank is adding drive-thru hours from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 1-3.

• 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 through 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.

• 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 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.

• All TJ Maxx stores closed for two weeks.

• 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 until March 30. 


• 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 until March 31. 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.


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

 The Gathering of Eagles/Silver Beaver Council Banquet scheduled for March 26 at the Soule Steam Works in Meridian has been postponed till a later date to be determined.

• The Meridian Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 2020 Debutante Ball scheduled for May 9 has been canceled.

• The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., Scholarship and Achievement Ball scheduled for April 4, has been postponed till further notice.

• The Jackson State University Meridian/Lauderdale County Alumni chapter annual scholarship banquet scheduled for March 28 has been canceled.

• State Games of Mississippi has postponed Netfest 2020.

• Mississippi Valley State University Green White Banquet scheduled for April 3 has been canceled.

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

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

• The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is closed through Monday, April 6. 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 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.

• Ebenezer Baptist Church in Newton has canceled the gospel concert featuring the “Marksman Quartet” scheduled on April 2.


• 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 offers free to-go breakfast and lunch to all students under 19 from 11 a.m. to noon at the high school cafeteria. Buses will also deliver meals to students and the time of delivery will vary depending on location and distance from the high school. Parents and children are asked to wait at the nearest bus stop for meals. 

• 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. 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 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. 

• 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. 

• 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 serves free lunch 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:

Bus #1: Quail Run Apartments 10:30 - 11:05 a.m.; McKenzie Apartments 11:15 a.m. - 11:50; Piggly Wiggly 11:55 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Bus #2: Desoto Fire Department 10:30 - 11:05 a.m.; Shubuta Fire Department 11:15 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.; Shubuta Apartments 11:55 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Bus #3: East Quitman Fire Department 10:30 - 11:05 a.m.; Carmichael Fire Department 11:15 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.; Theadville Fire Department 11:55 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

B Harmony Baptist Church 10:30 - 11:05 a.m.; Pachuta Library 11:15 - 11:50 a.m.; Beaverdam Fire Department 11:55 a.m. - 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. 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.

• 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   

React to this story: