Military commanders at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson have ordered all personnel to wear masks indoors when off the base and to avoid situations where there are no mitigation protocols. of COVID-19.
The order issued by the base commander, Col. Kirsten Aguilar, applies to everyone who lives, works, visits or recreates at the base north of Anchorage.
The new JBER rules were released as the Anchorage Assembly continues to debate a proposed city-wide mask mandate, which Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has repeatedly criticized. The controversial debate was scheduled to continue for a third day on Thursday evening.
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In Wednesday’s note, Aguilar wrote that with an increase in COVID-19 cases in Anchorage and across the state, JBER staff would be required to wear masks indoors at off-base facilities and outdoors when 6 feet of social distancing is not possible.
Aguilar also said staff should avoid non-essential indoor activities that lack COVID-19 security measures.
“Entry to facilities providing essential services without these checks is permitted, but individuals should wear a mask and socially distance themselves as much as possible,” Aguilar wrote.
The new rules were released just over a week after base leaders declared a public health emergency.
Failure to follow the rules could result in consequences, including “adverse action” for military personnel as well as disciplinary action for civilian employees and suspension of access to the base.