COVID-19 related closings, changes in East Mississippi

Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star file photo

A truck driver makes a delivery to a Meridian Walmart. Stores are open at 50 percent capacity and other restrictions.


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

State of Mississippi

On May 22, Gov. Tate Reeves extended executive Stay Safer in Place orders until 8 a.m. Monday, June 1. That includes the order that requires businesses in Lauderdale, Neshoba, Newton and Jasper 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.

The governor also amended restrictions that will allow outdoor entertainment venues such as race tracks and water parks, to open at no more than 50 percent capacity, starting Monday, May 25. The parks must be deep cleaned before opening, follow social distancing and employees must wear masks. School teams will also be able to open up their athletic training facilities Monday, using the same instructions that allowed gyms to open earlier. 

On May 19, the state issued an eight-page document giving guidance to religious leaders on how to open their worship sites.

Evictions are prohibited until June 1.

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. 

• The city’s 9 p.m. to 6 a.m curfew is in effect until May 31. 

• 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 has reopened. Hours are 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Closed on 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.

Lauderdale County

• The county plans to resume recycling from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 30 at the Agri-Center. Recyclables will have be bagged separately according to category, such as paper, plastic or aluminum.

• The Meridian/Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau is closed. 

• The Agri-Center is closed for all events. 

• 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.


• Mississippi State University-Meridian campus buildings are closed to comply with Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order. More information may be found at

• Meridian Community College is closed to comply with Gov. Tate Reeves' shelter-in-place order.  More information may be found at

• East Central Community College: Students and members of the public should not visit the campus or off-campus sites.  More information may be found at

• East Mississippi Community College canceled all campus activities and events for the remainder of the semester. More information may be found at

• The Mississippi State University Extension Service has canceled all face-to-face events, meetings and trainings through Aug. 1. The cancellation includes all scheduled Extension in-person conferences as well as 4-H youth programs on and off-campus. Extension offices and units, including the Bost Extension Center, the four regional Research and Extension Centers and each of Extension’s 82 county offices, will be closed to the public, with employee-only access until further notice. 

Lauderdale County School District announced Graduation plans, with make-up dates, as follows:

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.

Ceremonies for students with military obligations will be held at each school with specific details to be released by each school's administration. West Lauderdale: 10 a.m. on May 26; Northeast: 10 a.m. on May 27; Clarkdale: 10 a.m. on May 28; Southeast: 10 a.m. on May 29


• 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 remains open for patients' appointmens, but is now 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 Pearl River Resort and Boka Homa casino properties will not open for Memorial Day weekend, according to a statement from William "Sonny" Johnson, president and CEO. "When we reopen, it will be with the confidence that the time is right for the safety of our associates, guests and tribal members. We encourage everyone to take care and be safe,” he said in the statement. 

• Bonita Lakes Mall hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Monday to Friday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Mall entry is limited to the front entrance. All customers must wear a mask and practice social distancing. Mall occupancy at any time will be limited to 65 customers. Groups are limited to 5 or less. Individuals 18 or under must be accompanied by a parent or 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

• Mississippi Arts Commission is postponing its spring minigrant round after prioritizing and distributing emergency federal funding for arts organizations across Mississippi. 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.

• 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. 

• 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. 

• East Mississippi Realtors office is closed.

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

• The Citizens Bank will be closed Saturday, May 23.

• 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.

• 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 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

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

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

• 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.

• 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.

• Meridian Police Department and Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department are not currently 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.


• Meridian Little Theatre’s “Murder on the Menu” Dinner Theatre has been postponed. No new dates are set.  

• Lauderdale County Memorial Day Ceremony scheduled May 25 at the county courthouse is canceled.

• State Games of Mississippi Opening Ceremonies are canceled but some competition will be scheduled through the summer.

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

• Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum is closed. 

• The Mississippi Arts and Entertainment Experience (The MAX) is closed. For additional information, email, or call 601-255-4845 ext 0 and leave a message.

• The MSU Riley Center postponed spring shows. For new dates, check  

• At the Temple Theater,  The Price is Right Live has been postponed until Jan. 24. For other rescheduled dates, watch


• 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. Meals will not be available the week of May 26-29. The summer feeding program will begin June 1.

• 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. Meals will not be available the week of May 25, but will resume on June 1.

• 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.

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

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