The latest from Keesler

The latest from Col. Heather Blackwell, commander of the 81st Training Wing at Keesler.

We’ve made some major decisions over the weekend in an effort to keep Keesler’s posture in a proactive stance against the coronavirus. 

These changes will have a significant impact on retirees coming onto Keesler so I wanted to ensure you were aware of the changes. I am sensitive to the fact that this will drastically interfere with the routines our retirees have, but the coronavirus threat continues to grow and we must implement proactive measures.  At this time, Keesler has no cases of COVID-19 and we continue our mission to train the AF’s future leaders.

Drive-through pharmacy:  This is a significant change.  As an attempt to increase social distance and decrease traffic at the Medical Center, we are moving all pharmacy operations to the drive through at the BX.  To accommodate this, we are modifying traffic along Larcher and Meadow.  Traffic signs are already posted. See for driving maps.

Drive-through COVID screening: This is another significant change.  Now when driving to the Keesler Medical Center, you will see yellow jersey barriers directing people up the ramp to the front door for a drive-thru COVID screening option.  The option to park and walk in for a previously scheduled appointment also still exists. Purpose for this drive through is to screen people who have concerns about COVID-19 while also keeping my medical personnel safe…we need them!  The drive thru will be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Remember, people can still call the Dragon Health Hotline at 228-376-7132.

Single-entry points: Effective Monday, we will be reducing each facility to a single entry point with the intent for each building to post someone with a checklist we will provide to screen entrants for symptoms of COVID-19.  The checklist will also empower people with guidance on what to do if they have symptoms.

Further closures: I decided to day to close the golf course and limit chapel services to video, voice and on line only.  Although golf is two to people people only and it is outside…it is also still attracting many people who are in the high risk category.  I decided to shut it down as another means to decrease traffic on Keesler.  I have also decided to limit BX access to AD military and families only.  I’m limiting BX access as another way to try to slow down the virus’ spread by decreasing traffic and increasing social distance.  At this time, there are no limitations on who can go to the Commissary. Limiting the commissary will be a last resort.

Base access: I am limiting visitor passes to medical needs only.  We will also be closing Meadows gate to all inbound and outbound traffic starting Tuesday.  This will help the traffic flow easier to the Drive Thru Pharmacy.