By Mike McCombs
For the first time since admitting there were more than 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus on base, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, according to sources, accepted a shipment of recruits on Monday.
The Marine Corps announced changes to MCRD Parris Island’s training process on March 30 on its Facebook page. Included in those changes was a halt to shipments of recruits to Parris Island until the situation had stabilized.
Several media outlets had reported that Monday, April 13 was the goal for reintroducing new shipments of recruits to Parris Island. But that didn’t happen.
At the time, Capt. Bryan McDonnell, Director of Communcation Strategy and Operations for Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island explained, “New recruit arrivals to Parris Island remain conditions-based. We are continuing to refine our staging process and setting conditions for the resumption of shipping.”
He also laid out the procedure for when shipping resumed.
“Shippers will remain in a staging period of closely supervised quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to the Depot, prior to stepping on our iconic yellow footprints to begin recruit training,” he said. “Staging includes multiple medical checks a day and classes designed to orient and prepare shippers for the challenges of recruit training.
“We remain focused on mitigating the impacts of COVID-19 and further hardening our force health posture. This includes following all CDC guidelines on social distancing and hygiene, modifications to the training schedule to assist in the implementation of those guidelines, and the wear of cloth masks by recruits and training personnel.”
In addition to these precautions, Parris Island remains closed to the public. Graduation ceremonies are canceled, and leave for new graduates is no longer standard.