In accordance with the State of South Carolina, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum has opened its gift shop, and will fully reopen the museum on Friday, May 22, with several new health safety measures in place to reduce opportunities for transmission of COVID-19.
Enclosed exhibits such as the submarine Clamagore, Apollo 8 space capsule, flight simulator, and bunkers in the Vietnam Experience will remain closed. Ultraviolet (UV) light air purifiers have been installed in all of the air conditioning units aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown’s. Floor signage at the museum’s ticket window and inside the gift shop will encourage social distancing. The museum’s custodial staff will continue to follow protocol to ensure that self-guided tour routes and restrooms are sanitized. Print and digital signs will be placed throughout the museum to remind visitors and staff of state and federal health safety recommendations.
The museum’s gift shop will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 21. On Friday, the museum will return to normal operating hours, 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The last ticket is sold each day at 5:00 p.m. Initially, only self-guided tour routes will be available to visitors. Overnight camping operations, group tours and in-person education programs remain suspended.
Patriots Point staff has been advised on the recommended use of personal protective equipment (PPE) based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. PPE has been provided to museum workers.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to open in time for Memorial Day weekend,” said Patriots Point Executive Director Larry Murray. “Our thoughts are with those families who have given the ultimate sacrifice. We’re unable to host a ceremony, but encourage the community to spend a few minutes at the Gold Star Family Memorial Monument that’s located near our parking lot and doesn’t require the purchase of a ticket.”
Patriots Point staff has been hard at work improving the museum while it was closed because of COVID-19. Tour routes, ladder wells and open spaces aboard the USS Yorktown have been stripped and repainted. Wayfinding signage has also been improved and aircraft pressure washed.
“The Fighting Lady looks better than it has in decades. This virus has affected us all in negative ways. The work we’ve been able to perform is one bright spot,” said Murray.
The museum encourages visitors to purchase tickets online before arriving to limit contact and time spent in lines. Visit patriotspoint.org for more information.