DoD employees are once again required to wear face masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status

Coronavirus

WASHINGTON (WAVY) – In response to rising COVID-19 case numbers, employees will now be required to wear face masks while indoors at military installations and other facilities controlled by the Department of Defense.

Masks will be required regardless of vaccination status, according to the DoD. The mandate covers service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors.

The mandate is for areas that are at high or substantial risk for transmission. That includes Joint Base Langley-Eustis and other area military installations.

Many localities in the region are in the high or substantial risk categories for COVID-19 transmission.

Virginia reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time since April on Wednesday, a day after the Centers for Disease Control recommended mask wearing even for vaccinated people in areas with high community virus spread.

The latest CDC dashboard data shows Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News and Chesapeake all have high levels of community transmission. Hampton and Norfolk are at substantial risk. Williamsburg is in the moderate risk category.

JBLE posted on Facebook on Wednesday night saying the change was effective immediately.

The new restriction comes less than two weeks after military officials announced that U.S. Navy installations would tighten COVID-19 restrictions in Hampton Roads. Rising coronavirus case levels prompted officials to change restrictions to HPCON Bravo.

This shift lowered the allowable workplace occupancy from “less than 100%” to “less than 50%.”

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