FORT IRWIN, Calif. — Brig. Gen. Cutis Taylor, Commanding General of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin published his updated Yellow Hash policy on COVID-19 changes on June 2, announcing changes in international travel, gym access and capacity limits on gatherings, and hinting at lowering the health protection level.
“I’m happy to report that we have the lowest case count that we have seen since the start of this pandemic,” Taylor said.
In his May 14 Yellow Hash General Order, Taylor indicated that masks are no longer required to be worn by fully-vaccinated Department of Defense personnel while indoors or outdoors.
The June 3 community live update was the Command Teams’ first Facebook Live event without the use of masks, per the new order.
This latest order also states:
• International Travel requires approval of the CG, NTC. Unvaccinated service members returning from international leave or arriving from OCONUS PCS must observe 7 days of quarantine and receive a PCR test.
• The Box Gym, Freedom Gym, and Memorial Fitness Center are open to all authorized users, including contractor employees, during operating hours. Masks are required at these facilities for all unvaccinated personnel.
• All limits on the number of authorized guests imposed in response to COVID-19 are lifted. Unvaccinated personnel should wear a mask at any indoor gathering outside their own home.
Taylor provided even more positive news, saying he’s asked the Garrison team to monitor and start planning for a transition to HPCon Alpha, should the conditions be acceptable.
“Based on the low numbers that we are seeing from this testing, I believe that we may be on track to move to Health Protection Condition Alpha sometime in the month of June,” Taylor said. “If so, we will be able to open up some capacity in our Child Development Centers and our School Age Programs, and to expand our youth sports programs.”
Taylor encouraged the community to participate in all the events happening on post over the next, few months.
“It’s time for all of us to get reconnected,” Taylor said. “It’s been a long 15-16 months and it’s time to rebuild those bonds of social connection that make the Army a special place to live and serve.”
The Weed Army Community Hospital Command team reminded the community of vaccine “rodeos” they’re hosting at the Mary Walker Clinic for all eligible beneficiaries ages 12 and up. The dates are the June 10, 11, 15 and 17. Vaccines will also be available at the Post Exchange Main Store on the June 16, 17, 18, 21 and 22.
Taylor addressed how leaders are handling the current rotational training unit at NTC saying, “Rotation 21-08 with the 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team out of Mississippi has begun. In preparation for this exercise, we’ve been testing all unvaccinated personnel who are connected with the rotation.”
Taylor wrapped up his address by referencing his June 1 Lead 6 Sends message on summer safety. During the past two summers, the Army has lost 91 soldiers to off-duty mishaps and Taylor said he wants to encourage everyone to practice safety and reduce risks.
“I ask that all of you take appropriate measures to keep yourself and your family safe if you travel,” Taylor said. “Please keep yourself safe this summer and let’s not become a statistic.”
Live Community Updates can be found on Facebook.com/NTCfortirwin.