COVID-19 related closings, changes in East Mississippi

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The Mississippi State Department of Health urges everyone to wear a face mask in public.

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

State of Mississippi

• 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.

Gov. Tate Reeves extended the state's Safe Return order to 8 a.m. Monday, June 29, with amendments. The limitation on restaurants and bars that serve alcohol must close to the public by 10 p.m. is lifted. Gyms and fitness centers are also allowed to increase the number of customers to 50% of maximum capacity, and outdoor and indoor arenas can open under social distancing restrictions such as limiting seating capacity to 25% and following guidelines for business operations.

Under the state's Safe Return order, 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. 

At indoor places of amusement no more than 50% of maximum capacity is allowed.

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

Another amendment sunsets administrative leave for state, local, and municipal government employees set under Executive Orders 1458 and 1460 to end on Wednesday, July 1. 

City of Meridian

• The city’s curfew for residents ages 18 and over is 11 p.m. and the curfew for residents under the age of 18 is 9 p.m. 

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

• City of Meridian Parks and Recreation Velma Young Community Center has reopened. The Meridian Activity Center and the Dentzel Carousel remain 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.

HEALTH CARE FACILITIES

• 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.

BUSINESSES AND ORGANIZATIONS

• 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 cspirecares.com.

• The Waukaway Springs Christian Retreat Center has canceled all events and guest group retreats scheduled through Aug. 7. This includes all summer camps, retreats, and open Weekend (scheduled for June 26-27). People with questions may call 601-787-3100.

• 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 andy@wesleyhousemeridian.org.

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.  

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

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

PUBLIC SERVICE

• 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.

EVENTS

Meridian Fourth of July celebration is postponed.

• 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. 

FOOD ASSISTANCE

• Meridian Public School District offers a Summer Grab & Go Meal Program weekdays until July 24. Children 18 and under may pick up a free meal from 11 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-Noon at Magnolia Middle School, 1350 24th Street; T.J. Harris Upper Elementary, 3951 12th St.; or Oakland Heights Elementary, 601 59th Ave. Children must be present to receive a meal. For more information, visit www.mpsdk12.net and click on the summer feeding schedule link under district news.

• 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 editor@themeridianstar.com.   

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