Access control changes minimal
at Fort Drum gates with COVID-19 vaccination deadlines nearing
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Nov. 1, 2021) – A change to the access control policy at Fort Drum will require official visitors to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results, beginning today.
Fort Drum Directorate of Emergency Services officials said this will affect only a small percentage of people who normally access Fort Drum – specifically those who require a local access badge (LAB) or a day pass to enter a Department of Defense building.
This applies to:
- Non-DoD contractors who have work requirements within federal facilities
- Gold Star Family Members
- Friends of the North Country badge holders
It does not apply to Soldiers and their family members, civilian employees, retirees or visitors to on-post residences.
“Basically, people with DoD identification cards (Common Access Cards) will not be affected by the update to our force health protection measures at the gates,” said Fort Drum DES Deputy Director Mike Thomas. “It does not affect people who are going to the health care or pharmacy facilities, recreational facilities, the commissary, the Exchange and places like that.”
Nor does it affect contractors who work off-post and do not require access to federal buildings. This includes delivery and transportation services such as Uber, DoorDash and moving companies.
“But if you are an official visitor making an office visit somewhere, going to a meeting at Hays Hall, then the additional requirement applies,” he added.
Proof of vaccination will be verified at the Visitor Control Center (VCC), in conjunction with the application for a local access badge or day pass.
Official visitors are required to complete DD Form 3150, which they will maintain when visiting a federal facility as proof that they were vetted for vaccine compliance. The form can be downloaded and filled out before going to the VCC.
People who currently possess a local access badge will need to have it updated at the VCC no later than Nov. 19.
Official visitors who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or who decline to volunteer their COVID-19 vaccination status, must show an electronic or paper copy of negative COVID-19 test. The documentation must be from a Food and Drug Administration-authorized test, administered no earlier than 72 hours before visiting post.
“Once we can provide them with a new badge, that should eliminate the need for them to go to the VCC each time they make an official visit,” Thomas said. “However, they do not have the ability to use the Trusted Traveler Program to bring an additional guest on post.”
During the holiday season, Fort Drum community members may soon be welcoming guests into their homes or making plans to meet family and friends. Their guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination for access to post.
“The current Trusted Traveler Program is in effect for Soldiers and family members bringing guests on post,” Thomas said. “Anyone requiring a day pass can do so at the Visitor Control Center, and they can call (315) 772-8585 if they have any questions.”
As DoD COVID-19 vaccination deadlines approach, the force health protection measures at the gates were updated to reflect new requirements.
“While we all want the pandemic to be over, the fact is that it is still part of our lives,” said Col. James Zacchino Jr., Fort Drum garrison commander. “Protecting the health and safety of our community is at the forefront of everything we do, and this health protection measure is another way to ensure we are doing just that.”
(Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)