FORT IRWIN, Calif. — On June 14, Brig. Gen. Curtis Taylor, Commanding General of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, announced through his Yellow Hash order that the installation would return to Health Protection Condition Alpha— a level not seen on the installation since March 2020 when COVID-19 became prevalent.
“Fort Irwin…became the first installation in (U.S. Army) Forces Command to officially go to Health Protection Condition Alpha,” Taylor said during a Housing Town Hall on June 22.
That means health risk or disease is limited but leaders are still prepared and the community should still be on alert.
Taylor said it also means that essentially everything returns to normal on post, except for those who are unvaccinated, who are still required to wear a mask indoors. Also everyone on post must always wear a mask in any medical facility or child development center facility.
“We have done that because the numbers supported us doing that,” Taylor said. “We’ve seen a significant decrease in the prevalence of COVID here in the community, to the point that we’re very encouraged.”
Taylor also spoke on the coronavirus variant, saying it spreads quickly.
“We also recognize that the Delta variant is a very serious threat,” he said. “So I encourage strongly anyone over the age of 12 to get vaccinated. Our wonderful Weed Army Community Hospital has been offering vaccine clinics throughout the weeks and will continue to do that at the Mary Walker Clinic and also at the Fort Irwin PX.”
The COVID vaccine is available to all TriCare beneficiaries age 12 and up. All Fort Irwin Soldiers and residents are encouraged to receive the vaccine, but the decision is entirely voluntary.
On June 22, WACH also announced that Department of Defense contractors are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Fort Irwin facilities.
There are several opportunities. Everyone is encouraged to make an appointment online at weed-irwin.tricare.mil.
Other changes in the latest Yellow Has include:
• All gyms are open at full capacity for all authorized users, including contractor employees. Masks are required at these facilities for all unvaccinated personnel.
• Oasis Pool is open at full-capacity
• The Child Development Center (CDC) will continue to expand capacity as conditions allow. Masks are required at all times at the CDC and School-Age Center (SAC).
• Youth sports and activities are authorized and highly encouraged.
• All limits on the number of authorized personnel at indoor and outdoor events imposed in response to COVID-19 are lifted, CG approval is no longer required.