COVID-19 related closings, changes in East Mississippi

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Face masks are required in public spaces in Mississippi.

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

State of Mississippi

The Safe Return order, including the statewide mask mandate, is in effect until 5 p.m. on Sept. 30.

The Safe Return order, places an attendance cap on all K-12 extracurricular activities, such as football and band concerts, to 25 percent capacity when social distancing is possible. Each extracurricular event must have a dedicated Safety Officer to ensure all social distancing measures are followed as well.

All Mississippians must wear a mask when in public, with exceptions for children under 6, those who cannot cover their face for medical or behavioral conditions and those at religious worship. Masks must be worn inside a business, school, or any place open to the public, or when at an outdoor public space where social distancing is not possible, the order states. 

Executive order 1517 includes a statewide mask mandate for all Mississippians when inside a school building or classroom, or outside on a school campus when social distancing is not possible.

Executive order 1511 limits social gatherings and activities statewide to 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors when social distancing is not possible. The restrictions are no more than 20 people indoors and no more than 100 people outdoors when social distancing is possible.

• Mississippi Department of Public Safety: 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. Visitors are encouraged 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.

City of Meridian

• A citywide mask order is in effect until further notice. Employees and customers as well as everyone over age 2 in public places must wear masks inside businesses. Some exceptions include outdoor exercise, pumping gas, driving alone or with passengers of the same household, in cases of greater health or safety risk, while eating or drinking in restaurants or bars or while working in non-public work spaces where six feet of distance can be maintained.

• The city’s curfew for residents ages 18 and over is in effect indefinitely.  The curfew is midnight to 6 a.m. for adults and 9 a.m. to 6 a.m. for residents under the age of 17.

• Animal control: The city of Meridian’s animal shelter is open, but the lobby is closed. 

• City of Meridian Parks and Recreation:  The Meridian Activity Center is closed. 

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.


• 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.


• Multi-County Community Service Agency: Due to COVID-19 the agency is temporarily providing teleservice only. People in need of service, should call the office to schedule a telephone appointment. Senior citizens or those receiving disability income and have been assisted this year, however, do not require an appointment. Bills may be submitted by mail, email, fax or drop box. 

To receive services, the following are needed: the bill for which assistance is needed; photo identification for individuals 18 and over; social security cards for all household members; proof of income for all household members; unemployment/child support/SNAPS; signed authorization for all household members 18 and older. Documents may be submitted by mail, email, fax or drop box. All documents are required before an application can be processed.

Phone: 601-483-4838 or 800-898-0659; Fax: 601-484-3963; Email: Shirley Blanks,; Sammie Hoskins,; Monesia Essix, Mail/Drop Box: Post Office Box 905, 2906 Saint Paul St., Meridian, MS 39302.

• 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.

• The Mississippi State University Extension Service resumed in-person activities with social distancing guidelines in place Sept. 1. Meetings at all 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 limited to 50% seating occupancy for conference spaces and auditoriums. Participants must remain 6 feet apart. The use of face coverings and social distancing guidelines will be required at all indoor and outdoor Extension events until further notice. 

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

• NAS Meridian Personnel including all visitors must complete a health questionnaire and have their temperature screened before being admitted to any building on base. No tours are being conducted. Facilities are beginning to reopen and require masks (ages 6 & up), social distancing, temperature checks and COVID-19 screening questions. Hand sanitizer/sinks are available.

COMMUNITY RECREATION: Office is located at the Library conference room is authorized for active duty/dependents. Hours are Monday-Friday 2-6 p.m.; with weekend hours from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Rental equipment limited to individual use items. Paintball & playgrounds remain closed.

PONTA CREEK GOLF COURSE is permanently closed.

FITNESS CENTER is authorized for active duty only. Hours are various depending on commands. Call 601-679-2379 for hours of operations.

HOBBY SHOP is authorized for active duty/dependents. Hours are by appointment only Monday-Friday between 4-7 pm., Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Automotive, woodworking, pottery and welding areas available.

McCAIN RECREATION CENTER is authorized for active duty families and unaccompanied NAS/Tenant Staff & Pilots. Hours: Block scheduling by demographic. Bowling lanes & Subway currently closed. Putt-putt, arcade and movie theater currently open.

RUDDERS PUB & GRILL Open for all who have base access. Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Stay up-to-date by visiting or downloading the free Navy MWR Meridian App.

CHAPEL: Limit to 40 people at one service. Protestant in-person services will resume soon. Catholic services are being streamed live on NAS Meridian Chapel Facebook Page. For more information, call 601-679-3635.

NAVY EXCHANGE main store and Mini-Mart are open normal hours. The tailor shop and barber shop remain closed. 

BRANCH HEALTH CLINIC AND PHARMACY are open. Dental and optometry are open to active-duty only. No exams or appointments for retirees.

COMMISSARY: Open but has implemented a 100-percent ID check. Only ID cardholders are admitted and no visitors are allowed at this time.

FLEET AND FAMILY SUPPORT CENTER is on-call for all counseling services and can be reached at 601-679-2360.


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

• Mississippi Industrial Heritage Museum is closed. 


• 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.

• 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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