The COVID-19 crisis is changing the way future United States Marines are trained at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, SC. According to anonymous defense officials who spoke to the Washington Post, between 20 to 50 positive cases have been confirmed at the Depot.
According to a Recruit Depot spokesperson, some of the cases were discovered in the recruit population. Beginning March 30, the Recruit Depot suspended the shipping of new recruits to Parris Island. When shipping resumes, new recruits will be held in a 14-day “staging” period before they begin processing ahead of training. These recruits will be medically screened multiple times per day. Due to the crisis, physical distancing measures are being implemented in dining facilities and “squad bays” where recruits sleep
However, training will continue for recruits already in Parris Island, with physical distancing measures being implemented at the discretion of the drill instructors. Although graduations will continue to occur, visitors are prohibited from attending. Upon graduation, new Marines will continue to ship out to the training that occurs on other bases after they leave Parris Island.
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How Coronavirus Is Changing Marine Corps Boot Camp