NAS Meridian makes changes due to COVID-19

NAS MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Meridian Naval Air Station reported Monday that it has no cases of COVID-19.

In a news release, NAS Meridian says it's taking proactive measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by implementing changes recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and the Secretary of Defense.

"My concern is for the health and safety of the 2,800 military, civilian and
contractors that call NAS Meridian home," said commanding officer, Capt. Brian Horstman. "We are continuing our mission of training
student aviators, and enlisted Sailors and Marines at the Schoolhouse until we are directed to secure operations."

Horstman 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.

Credentialed base patrons and retirees with current ID cards are currently being admitted to the base, but all visitors, without a military issued ID card, must complete a health questionnaire upon requesting admittance.

All events and tours have been cancelled or postponed through May 11.

Facilities that are 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's racquetball courts and steam rooms.
- Chapel has suspended services and will be conducting them online.

A Protestant pastor and Catholic chaplain remain on duty for all counseling services or religious needs for the military.

The Regional Counterdrug Training Academy has postponed all classes and is closed.

Other information on facilities:
- Branch Health Clinic and pharmacy remains opens, 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
- The Navy Exchange store remains open.
- The golf course will remain open for golfers who would like to walk the
- Rudders Pub and Grill is open for take-out only.
- The Sonny Montgomery Fitness Center will be open for active duty and
reservists only from 4-8 p.m. on weekdays and noon-8 p.m. on
weekends until further notice.
- Only sports that can accommodate social distancing are permitted.
- Outdoor group exercise classes will be available for active duty

For the latest information on NAS Meridian facilities, visit its Facebook page by clicking the attached link.