Vicksburg District to reopen Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum June 14 with focus on COVID-19 safety measures

Published June 11, 2020

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District will reopen the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, and incorporate preventative health measures beginning June 14.

Previously closed March 17 due to ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the museum has established new guidelines to promote visitor and contract employee safety and encourage social distancing as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and USACE. 

Museum capacity will be limited to 30 visitors, and entry into the theater will be limited to 10 visitors at a time. Visitors are expected to maintain a social distance of six feet between one another at all times. All door handles and touchscreens will be sanitized every two hours unless no visitors are present during that period. Signage outlining all preventative measures will be placed in front of the museum’s Washington Street entrance.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face masks, although not required. Additionally, museum personnel will sign in visitors at the front desk upon entry in order to reduce contact with shared supplies. Visitors who have recently felt unwell, experienced fever, loss of taste or smell, or cough are encouraged to refrain from entering. 

Museum staff and volunteer guidelines include staggered lunch and break periods and additional training sessions for new cleaning measures. Masks and cleaning supplies will be provided on site, and employees’ temperatures will be monitored daily prior to entering the building. Employees will also receive information about the use and site availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). Current schedules are configured for minimal contact between coworkers. 

“After consulting with our local partners, including the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, we have decided to reopen the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum,” said USACE Commander Col. Robert Hilliard. “The health and safety of our team and community remain our top priority, and these measures will help reduce risk. The pandemic is an ongoing and fluid challenge, and we will continue to monitor conditions and adjust operations as needed. We are eager to welcome visitors back to the museum, and we thank its supporters for their understanding.”

As of 8 a.m. CDT June 10, 18,483 COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in Mississippi. 

Located in downtown Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum allows visitors to learn about how people have lived, worked and played on the Mississippi River throughout history and how USACE has made those experiences possible. The museum’s interactive exhibits include the Motor Vessel Mississippi IV, a decommissioned USACE towboat and flagship for the Mississippi River Commission. 

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.


Anna Owens

Release no. 20-046