Fort Jackson Public Affairs
“As we continue to assess the latest updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prudently taking additional measures to ensure we safeguard the health and safety of our Soldiers, Families, and civilian employees while preserving our ability to produce the Army’s newest Soldiers,” wrote Brig. Gen. Milford H. “Beags” Beagle Jr., Fort Jackson commander in a letter to the Fort Jackson community March 17.
These changes are aimed at helping prevent COVID-19 spread by increasing the social distance on the installation. Fort Jackson has already begun hosting virtual community town halls; instituted new ID card procedures at all access points; cancelled or modified Family Day and graduation; and implemented improved screening procedures for recruits and trainees.
One recently implemented change includes Commissary entrance procedures aimed at ensuring at risk populations can enter the facility earlier than other patrons to limit exposure to larger crowds.
“Effective March 18 the commissary will be open to authorized commissary patrons who are medically immunocompromised, as well as those aged 65 and older, from 7:30 a.m. until 9 a.m.,” Beagle wrote in a note. “This is in an effort to reduce risk to what is considered a vulnerable population. All other eligible patrons will then be allowed to shop during the remainder of the store’s open hours.”
In addition to limiting the purchase of shortage products to one item per person, the Commissary will limit the maximum number of shoppers allowed in the store at one time to 100. This will facilitate better social distancing and reduce overcrowding.
The Commissary will also post a list of shortage items outside the entry way of the store each day to better inform customers before entering.
The Exchange is open and posting limits to select items to ensure available quantities available. However, all movie showings in the post theater are canceled and all food sales in AAFES establishments are now take out only.
Beginning March 18, Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) eligible veterans’ access to post is temporarily suspended. Only Common Access Card (CAC), dependent identification (ID) card holders, retiree ID card holders, and select Defense Biometric Identification System (DBIDS) card holders will retain access. Current installation gate operating hours will remain the same, however, Gate 5 is now closed.
Additionally, Department of the Army Security Guards will conduct a general health and welfare assessment of all personnel entering Fort Jackson at each gate. This will include a temperature check and additional questions regarding COVID-19 symptoms. These precautionary measures are in compliance with all local law enforcement and HIPAA laws. Those personnel presenting symptoms will be directed to the appropriate healthcare provider for further clinical screening.
Taxi and COMET transportation services onto Fort Jackson are suspended. The Logistical Readiness Center will increase on-post transportation support for employees who normally rely on public transportation.
Organizations are implementing telework and shift work policies where appropriate to enable social distancing and prevent possible exposure to higher risk employees. As an additional measure, organizations are now screening everyone entering the workplace in order to ensure early identification of those presenting COVID-19 symptoms and better protect all.
For emergency and urgent work orders, residents should call (803) 787-6416. Balfour Beatty also announced changes including the closure of common areas, fitness centers and community amenities. Workers will utilize gloves and masks when in homes and during business transactions.
DODEA schools suspended classroom instruction, but have provided instructions and resources to continue educating through digital learning. Additionally, Fort Jackson announced hour changes or closures of Directorate of Family, Morale Welfare and Recreation facilities including Child and Youth Services buildings; and community religious services cancellations.
Post leadership thanks the community for their continued patience.
Fort Jackson Public Affairs