The Mississippi Department of Health is now recommending that all restaurants and bars close their dining facilities in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus. 

Currently, four cities in Mississippi – Jackson, Oxford, Tupelo, and Moss Point – have enacted ordinances or orders requiring restaurants to close and move to take out or delivery orders only. But the nationwide movement is toward closing restaurants, or any facility where large groups gather. 

Even without an official statewide ban, most restaurants had already made this move. Thanks to the innovation of food delivery apps, the ability to get food without having to leave your house is a reality. Many of the apps have responded to the crisis by waiving delivery fees. And as the demand has increased, so has the opportunity for gig work delivering food.  

The department is also recommending gatherings should be 10 people or less, which is in line with the CDC guidance. Residents are advised not to attend weddings, funerals, or church services, for example. Many churches have moved to live-streaming services, if they had not already done so. 

Three states – California, New York, and Illinois – have moved forward with “shelter in place” orders that require all residents to stay home, except for essential workers who must go to work and those purchasing essential supplies, such as groceries. 

As of Friday, Mississippi had 80 positive cases of COVID-19 and one death.