Gov. Tate Reeves announced that a statewide shelter-in-place would begin Friday at 5 p.m.
He was signing the emergency order on the afternoon of April 1.
The order will be in place until 8 a.m., Monday, April 20.
"We will open up our state as soon as possible, as soon as our health experts say it's possible."
Reeves said the order would be enforced, and that the goal in short-term would be to protect lives and preserve resources at the state's hospitals. The decision was made after consulting experts from the medical community, he said.
"This will not be easy for anyone but we believe it will be the right course of action," Reeves told the media. "We believe this is the right tool at the right time to save lives."
The order will prohibit all public and private gatherings of more than 10 people and close non-essential businesses, including amusement parks, theaters, social clubs, bowling alleys, museums, children play facilities, all parks, all beaches, all lakes and all reservoirs.
"Grocery stores are going to stay open. Other essential operations are going to stay open," he said.
Walking trails also will remain open for public use, Reeves said.
Businesses that remain open must continue to practice social distancing rules, including staying at least six feet away from other individuals.
All evictions during the shelter-in-place are also ordered to cease.
The order will be enforced by state and local law enforcement officials.
"The single best mechanism is for individuals to enforce it themselves," Reeves said. "Violating this executive order puts not only you at risk, but other Mississippians at risk."
Reeves said 75 to 90 percent of Mississippians have already been impacted by existing executive orders issued in the previous weeks.
The governor was joined by Speaker Philip Gunn and State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs.
Dobbs said the state is seeing the virus expand into nursing homes and was beginning to infiltrate the state's more vulnerable population.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the most vulnerable are those who are 65 years or older, those who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, and those with chronic lung disease or other conditions.
"Shelter in place is designed to slow things down, to allow hospitals to have a chance to respond," Dobbs said. "We know more cases are coming. We know we're going to have more deaths ... This isn't going to be a cure for coronavirus. It's not going to stop coronavirus, but it will cause additional pause."
Dobbs and Gunn said the state currently has enough supplies to meet current demands, but are worried that if the number of cases grows exponentially, hospitals could become overwhelmed.
Reeves said the Mississippi National Guard was also able to step up to provide assistance as needed.
As of April 1, more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 had been reported in the state.
Also on April 1, Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba issued a similar order, which would begin Friday at 3 p.m.