BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
1. Public safety remains of the utmost importance at Barksdale Air Force Base (BAFB). This memorandum supplements reference (a), which renewed BAFB’s Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration until 5 July 2021 or until I determine public health data indicates the risk for sustained community transmission is mitigated, whichever may occur first. In accordance with references (a) and (b), I have made the risk decision, in coordination with my Public Health Emergency Officer, to decrease BAFB’s Health Protection Condition level at BRAVO. This decision is necessary due to local conditions both on and off installation regarding COVID-19 public health data. These actions are in line with our state and local authorities; moreover, Louisiana’s move to Phase 3 does not alleviate the need for individuals to practice preventive measures. These practices are not to be ignored or altered regardless of a member’s or dependent’s vaccination status (full, partial, awaiting, or declined).
2. As Northwest Louisiana recovers from COVID-19, I continue to order the following actions for all individuals accessing BAFB (this applies to all Total Force Military Personnel, DOD Civilian Employees including Non-Appropriated Funded Civilians, Family Members, DOD Contractors, and all others on or in the property-installation-facilities):
a. Maintain strict social distancing (6 feet or more) and practice good hygiene:
(1) Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
(2) Clean high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas frequently.
(3) Avoid touching your face.
(4) Sneeze and cough into tissue, elbow, or a mask.
b. Face coverings are mandatory at all times when inside any non-residential facility or building on the installation, including common areas and shared workspaces (including open floorplan office spaces, cubicle embankments, and conference rooms). The following exceptions are made for temporary unmasking:
(1) Any individual alone in an office with floor-to-ceiling walls and with a closed door.
(2) Any child under the age of 8; however, all children between 2-7 years old are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
(3) Any individual with a medical condition or disability that prevents the wearing of a face covering. [Waiver of (c) for “medical condition” granted by O-6 installation commander.]
(4) Any individual consuming food or drink; when able, reduce unmasked time to brief periods and continue to maintain appropriate physical distancing (ideally 6 feet or greater).
(5) Any individual seeking to communicate with someone who has or is suspected of having a communication disorder. [Waiver of (c) granted by O-6 installation commander.]
(6) Any individual giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience, such as instructors, facilitators, or speakers at an event and are able to maintain 6 feet distance. [Waiver of (c) granted by O-6 installation commander.]
(7) When wearing a face covering would interfere with providing verbal communications needed to ensure safe and effective operations. Individuals on a weapons loading crew, while performing or supervising loading operations, are approved for OPTIONAL wear of marks. [Waiver of (c) for “optional wear” granted by O-6 installation commander.]
(8) Any individual temporarily removing his/her face covering for identification purposes.
(9) When wearing a face covering would interfere with the proper wear of personal protective equipment (PPE); for example, a respirator, a gas mask, a flight crew oxygen mask or equipment.
(10) Any individual practicing a religious belief. It is encouraged for those individuals not wearing a mask to continue to maintain appropriate physical distancing (ideally 6 feet or greater).
c. Face coverings are mandatory at all times when occupying a shared outdoor space on the installation. Shared outdoor spaces include, but are not limited to: open floorplan covered areas such as sunshades; operations, activities, and exercising in close proximity (less than 6 feet) to another; or congregating with those not from an individual’s household. If in doubt, wear a face covering.
d. Face coverings are mandatory at all times when occupying a vehicle with another individual if that/those other(s) are NOT from the same household. If in doubt, wear a face covering.
e. Limit gatherings inside your residence. Wear a face covering when in contact with members outside your immediate household and maintain 6 feet social distancing. Limit or refrain from visiting people in assisted-living facilities, nursing homes and hospitals. On installation gatherings will continue to follow DOD guidance and not that of the CDC. Relaxation of restrictions to comply with CDC advice is likely in the future.
f. Official functions, classes, meetings, gatherings, and training sessions will be limited in size and maintain 6 feet physical distancing. When in-person gatherings must take place, arrange seating to avoid close contact with others. All personnel must maintain at least 6 feet spacing and wear face coverings. Remove or block off seating as necessary to ensure 6 feet spacing.
g. Limit or cancel in-person meetings, events and gatherings, and hold virtual meetings to the maximum extent possible.
h. Outdoor activities will be limited in size and maintain 6 feet physical distancing, unless actively participating in a recreational sport.
i. Participation in, and observance of, indoor and outdoor team sports is authorized on- and off-base to enhance physical fitness and wellness opportunities, but must be conducted in a manner to minimize COVID-19 transmission risk. Allowed activities include, but are not limited to: playing, coaching, serving as a referee, and being a spectator. Participants and observers must:
(1) NOT participate in team sports if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or on ROM, or in Quarantine or Isolation status.
(2) Wash or sanitize hands before and after play; the wearing of gloves is highly encouraged.
(3) Not share personal equipment (e.g., water bottles, towels, face shields/helmets); make concerted efforts to sanitized shared equipment (e.g., basketballs) before, during, and after play.
(4) The wearing of masks while in play (or serving as a referee) is highly encouraged. [Waiver of (c) for “optional wear” granted by O-6 installation commander.]
(5) While not actively engaged in play, minimize large sideline crowds by maintaining 6 feet between other players and spectators, and don a mask.
(6) Minimize direct person-to-person contact.
j. The BX and Commissary are open to all beneficiaries with BX and DECA privileges so long as the number of patrons in BX and Commissary facilities do not exceed 75% facility capacity.
k. All BAFB Services and MWR activities are open to all beneficiaries with base access. All Services and MWR facilities are limited to 75% of their total occupancy and will enforce strict 6 feet physical distancing.
l. All BAFB indoor fitness facilities (gyms) are open to all beneficiaries with base access, are limited to 75% of their total occupancy, and will enforce strict 6 feet physical distancing. The base’s indoor fitness facility running track is open for use, but at a reduced occupancy and mask wear as dictated and as listed at the facility. Indoor group exercise classes (e.g., Spin, HIIT, yoga) are authorized with appropriate employment of distancing, mask wear, etc. See postings at the facilities and on-line for updates on class offerings, times, attendance limits, etc.
m. All in-person dining on-base, like the BX Food Court and the BUFF Club, may operate at 75% capacity. The sale and consumption of alcohol at authorized on-base locations is permitted, but physical distancing still applies.
n. Religious and chapel services on-base may operate at 100% capacity.
3. Face coverings and masks should be conservative in appearance, display our shared professionalism, and keep with our culture of dignity and respect. Cloth face coverings or masks should be solid in color (e.g., white, black, coyote brown, tan, sage green, olive green) or follow a uniform pattern (i.e., ABU or OCP). Markings for esprit de corps are allowed so long as they do not violate the above calls for professionalism (including good order and discipline), dignity, and respect. All cloth face coverings and masks should be functional, clean, and cover both the mouth and nose. If desired, civilian employees may be furnished with a face covering or mask or be provided a uniform allowance per AFI 36-128, Pay Setting and Allowances, 17 May 2019.
4. For Commanders and supervisors, the use of COVID risk assessment tools are encouraged in discussing the risk of transmission with your Airmen. Below are two calculators/tools to use in assessing the risk for a designated group size and COVID prevalence in the specific location.
a. For reference, consider using the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool at https://covid19risk.biosci.gatech.edu/. This tool can be used when authorizing passes and leave, as well as assessing risk to activities within the local area.
b. Additionally, consider using in combination the point prevalence chart at https://stevenhorn.gitlab.io/covid-prevalence/ to determine the point prevalence for your intended location. Insert that number and the approximate number of people (group size) into the “Likelihood of Undetected COVID-19 Infection” calculator at http://diaenterprisepublic.canadacentral.cloudapp.azure.com/COVID19MissedInfections.html. Hover over the graph at day 0 (zero) to see the probability of missing at least one infected case in the designated group size and point prevalence.
5. Additional off-base requirements for 2d Bomb Wing active duty military personnel, including reserve members on Title 10 orders; and while not required for other BAFB tenets, all are highly encouraged.
a. Military members are authorized to eat indoors at restaurants and casinos; however, other entertainment establishments (such as clubs and bars) that serve food and/or beverages remain unauthorized for patronage. This is due to the increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, the impracticality of wearing face coverings in these settings, and the inability to control location cleanliness. Restaurant outdoor seating and take-out dining remain highly encouraged. Employment of practices listed in para 2.b.(4). remain highly encouraged.
b. Face coverings shall be worn when inside a commercial establishment or any other building or space open to the public, whether indoor or outdoor. This shall include public or commercial modes of transportation. Refer to exemptions from paragraph 2.b.
c. Practice good hygiene as described in paragraph 2.a.
d. For military member travel, leave/pass travel from BAFB is now permissible under the following conditions:
(1) Before granting leave/pass periods, the member’s supervisor(s) must conduct a risk assessment and health status of the military member requesting travel.
(2) For members on leave travel outside of the United States (i.e., all 50 states, district, and territories), supervisors will conduct a mandatory pre-departure briefing with the member prior to departure; this is documented on the “COVID-19 Pre-Departure Worksheet.” The member’s supervisor must sign the form. Copies of the pre-departure briefing will be maintained by the unit for pass periods and uploaded by the member into LeaveWeb for leave. If the member is on leave/pass and not leaving the United States, no “COVID-19 Pre-Departure Worksheet” is required.
(3) Members should not travel if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
(4) Members will comply with all DOD, Federal, State, and local restrictions while in leave/pass status. DOD guidance and resources can be found at https://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/coronavirus. State and local restrictions can usually be found on the respective state’s Department of Health website.
(5) Regular and special pass travel are limited to 8-hour driving radius from BAFB.
e. For BAFB dorm residents:
(1) Limit gatherings in individual dorm rooms to ensure 6 feet physical distancing is maintained.
(2) Limit dayrooms to 75% occupancy and maintain 6 feet physical distancing.
f. These directives are effective 5 April 2021 at 0800L through 5 July 2021 or until I determine public health data indicates sustained transmission is no longer evident, whichever may occur first. I or a senior commander in my chain of command retain the authority to renew, modify, or terminate these directives at any time.
g. A military member who fails to obey the orders in this policy may be punished under Article 92 for failing to obey a lawful order or under any other applicable portion of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. DOD civilians who fail to follow this policy while on the installation may face adverse employment action. Any person who fails to follow this policy or is found to be potentially harmful to the health or safety of the individuals who live and work on this installation may have his or her authority to access BAFB limited or revoked. This includes dependent civilians who currently reside on the installation.
6. Civilian employees, contractors, family members, and military dependents are expected to adhere to guidelines issued by state and local authorities. Further, to protect the public health and safety of the public, yourselves, and our military community; and to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, and disrupt the spread of the virus, I highly encourage all civilian employees, contractors, family members, and military dependents to voluntarily adhere to the actions described in paragraphs 5.a through 5.c.
7. Those who are at high-risk from COVID-19 are highly encouraged to stay at home except for essential activities like acquiring food, supplies, or medical care.
8. Reference the latest DOD Guidance for all PCSs, TDYs, deployments, and leave. All travel is subject to DOD Force Health Protection Guidance.
9. A list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found on the Centers for Disease Control’s website (www.CDC.gov). If you or any member of your family begin to present symptoms, DO NOT go to the 2 MDG Clinic without first calling the appointment line (318-456-6555). If you have been in contact with anyone presenting symptoms, we are asking you to inform your supervisor or Commander, and contact 2 MDG Public Health to determine what procedures need implementing. *Note: Additional slides can be found in Attachment 1.
10. For the most up-to-date installation, Services, and MWR information, please reference the USAF Connect App, the 2d Bomb Wing website (https://www.barksdale.af.mil/COVID-19-BAFB/), and the BAFB Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TeamBarksdale/).
11. These actions are necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19, protect service members and families, safeguard national security, and support a whole of government approach. Commanders will lead their units in a manner that maximizes public health and safety while minimizing mission impacts.
MARK C. DMYTRYSZYN, Colonel, USAF