Brig. Gen. Brett Funck, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum acting senior commander, and Col. Jeffery Lucas, Fort Drum Garrison commander, field questions during in a virtual town hall meeting Nov. 23 on post. (Photo by Master Sgt. Daniel Shapiro, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs)
Fort Drum leaders: ‘We all have a responsibility
to look after each other,’ slow spread of COVID-19
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Nov. 23, 2020) – Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) senior leaders addressed the rising COVID-19 rate in the area and mitigation efforts on post during a virtual town hall forum Nov. 23.
The installation is currently operating under a “mission-required” manning designation until after the Thanksgiving holiday. This increases the number of personnel who are teleworking and limits the size of gatherings to squad-level, or no more than 10. In addition, physical training activity will be conducted on an individual level.
Brig. Gen. Brett Funck, 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum acting senior commander, said that these measures are necessary to reduce the spread of the virus, while maintaining the readiness of the force.
“Let’s spread out the formation, let’s mitigate our risks here and let’s have an immediate impact on trying to slow this down while also recognizing that it is an opportunity of looking at the overall wellness of our families, of our Soldiers and our community,” he said.
Funck said that service members are required to wear masks at all times while in uniform, whether on post or outside the gates. Civilian employees also are required to wear face masks at work, as are children at the School Age Center and Youth Center.
“We all have a responsibility to wear a mask,” Funck said. “We all know that if we wear a mask, if we social distance, wash our hands and stay in our smaller group, then we can mitigate our risks right off the bat. Please, do your part.”
Funck said that the health and wellness of the community remains the top priority, and that the ability for people to take leave is essential to that.
Under General Order 1F, travel within New York and the five contiguous states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont) will not require a 14-day quarantine upon return to Fort Drum. Those with approved leave for outside the local travel area will be required to quarantine.
Funck also clarified that Soldiers will not be charged leave for any time spent in quarantine.
“Everyone goes into a 14-day quarantine upon return from outside New York and the five contiguous states,” he said. “That’s clear-cut, that’s easy to follow, that’s enforceable and that’s responsible for our entire community.”
Soldiers are permitted to have family members visit them during leave, but Funck said that they are responsible for informing their chain of command. If visitors arrive from outside the local travel area, both Soldier and guests will have to quarantine.
“We all have a responsibility to look after each other and take measures so that what we are doing is socially responsible,” he said.