The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) now recommends that all restaurant and bars suspend dine-in service in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19, effective immediately. This decision is consistent with the social distancing principles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in line with actions taken by other states.
This recommendation is for the foreseeable future.
Restaurants may still offer carryout or delivery orders to their customers.
“This will in no way affect gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores or food marts” said MSDH State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs, MD, MPH.
Additionally, the MSDH is recommending that Mississippi residents not attend funerals, weddings, church services or other community or social events with expected attendance of more than 10 people.
Currently, Mississippi has reported 80 positive cases of COVID-19 and one death. A significant increase in positive cases and additional deaths are expected.
Dobbs said that as this virus continues to spread rapidly, prevention has never been more important. Preventive measures Mississippians can take include the following:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing, blowing your nose, and using the bathroom. Effective hand washing takes about 20 seconds, and includes cleaning under fingernails, between fingers, and washing the back of hands as well as the front.
- Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with anyone who is ill.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. When possible, cough, sneeze or blow your nose into a tissue, and throw the tissue away.
- If you are sick, especially with shortness of breath, severe cough, fever or severe chest pain, call a doctor or healthcare provider for instructions on being safely examined.
- Avoid social gatherings where 10 people or more would come into close contact.
- Practice social distancing: keep at least six feet away from other people in a group.