All Military Members Are Back To Wearing Masks – Here’s The Low Down On The New COVID Mandates
With the new Delta variant of COVID, we’ve had to discontinue the progress that’s been made in de-escalating COVID measures. Luckily for some, these changes only apply in areas where the spread of the virus has increased. For the last few months, everyone that received the vaccine has been able to go mask-less in all areas except the base exchanges and other select areas based on command discretion. However with the new fragmentary order, everyone – regardless of vaccination status, will wear a mask indoors once again.
These changes come as vaccinated people continue to test positive for COVID-19, and we’ve come to realize that the vaccine hasn’t been the end-all-be-all that it was supposed to be. As a result, we’re pretty much back to square one in terms of easing these restrictions.
You probably already know if this applies to you, but take a look at the CDC map of community transmission below. If your area is red or orange, expect to mask up. Also it’s safe to assume that the mask mandate applies if you’re stationed overseas.
Currently the military is performing random COVID testing on it’s members as yet another way of gathering data. The more data we get, the smarter our strategy can be for finally beating the virus and once again starting to ease restrictions. For now, though, we’re still following these guidelines:
- Social distancing.
- Wearing a mask.
- Random COVID testing.
- Negative COVID test within 72 hours of official military travel.
- ROM period following travel if unvaccinated.
- Vaccine incentives.
- Eventual mandatory vaccination.
You might have read that last bullet point and thought, “wait, what?” Here’s the deal: the only reason that the military hasn’t required everyone to get the vaccine is that it hasn’t yet been cleared by the FDA. Some are hesitant to receive the vaccine because of that status, which isn’t unreasonable. However, you know that cocktail of shots you get at boot camp? The COVID vaccine will eventually be one of them.
Only 48% of the military has been vaccinated, but eventually, everyone will get the vaccines that are currently available. If scientists develop on for the Delta variant, we’ll get that, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if it became an annual requirement like the flu shot. Hopefully this course of action will result in fewer restrictions for everyone.
The state of California is getting ready to order all members of it’s national guard to either get the vaccine, or be tested regularly. In another case, the Department of Veterans Affairs gave it’s employees until the 20th of September to get vaccinated. And President Biden is considering requiring all federal employees to get vaccinated or, like the California national guardsmen, be tested regularly.
We’ll see how these new developments impact the spread of COVID-19; maybe someday we can return to normal, or perhaps a new normal. It goes without saying that we need to do everything possible to finally beat this virus. If you have anything to add to this article, or perhaps some regional knowledge that would be helpful, make sure to share it in the forum!Share this: