DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
In accordance with new guidance released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense updated its mask-wear guidance for military installations, on July 28, 2021.
Effective immediately, all individuals on the installation will be required to wear cloth face coverings at all times when indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals will also need to continue to physically distance themselves and follow applicable CDC and DoD Force Health Protection guidance.
The CDC issued updated guidance, on Tuesday, July 27, recommending everyone in areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission rates wear masks indoors as a result of the transmissibility of the newer COVID-19 Delta variant. According to the CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, Pima County is currently at a “substantial” transmission rate.
Throughout the pandemic, the DoD has aligned its COVID-19 mitigation measures with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention‘s guidance.
Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, masks must be worn by service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees and visitors while indoors at installations and other facilities owned, leased or otherwise controlled by the DoD. This includes but is not limited to:
- Work centers
- Fitness centers (with the exception of cardio and functional fitness areas)
- Base Exchange and other AAFES facilities
- Medical Treatment Facilities
- Other indoor customer service locations
In accordance with Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force exception criteria, mask wear is not required in the following circumstances:
- When outdoors and proper physical distancing can be maintained
- When actively participating in physical fitness activities either indoors or outdoors and either proper physical distancing is maintained or additional measures are implemented to mitigate the threat of transmission
- When necessary to reasonably accommodate a religious belief
- When underlying health conditions that prohibit the wear of a face covering exist and the individual is in possession of medical documentation from a health care provider outlining such a condition and the restrictions the condition places on wear of a face covering
- When an individual is alone in a vehicle or is sharing the vehicle only with members of their household
- When use substantively interferes with the proper wear and use of personal protective equipment necessary for the accomplishment of one's military duties
- When personnel are in primary aircrew positions during critical phases of flight or emergencies; or when using flight crew oxygen equipment
- When clear or unrestricted visualization of verbal communication are essential to safe and effective operations
- For brief periods of time when eating and drinking while maintaining distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines and instructions from commanders and supervisors
- When the mask is required to be lowered briefly for identification or security purposes
- When necessary to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability
The COVID-19 vaccines is available to beneficiaries empaneled to the 355th Medical Group on walk-in and appointment basis, in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation.
For beneficiaries 12-17 years old, walk-ins are welcomed Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Lobby 2 of the clinic and appointments can be made using the online scheduler. Beneficiaries 18 and older are able to walk in during the same time frame on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or make an appointment using the online scheduling tool.
COVID-19 remains a significant threat in Southern Arizona and in the United States, and the updated mask wear policy is being implemented to protect service members and their families from COVID-19.