U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- Graduation may have come and gone at the Air Force Academy but safety precautions set in place during the COVID-19 outbreak remain in place today, including wearing cloth face coverings in public on base.
This includes medical patients and pharmacy customers at the 10th Medical group clinic.
“Masks are required and you can’t get into the clinic without one,” said Col. Ramon Yambo-Arias, the Academy’s chief of Aerospace Medicine and the installation’s public health emergency officer. “We ask our patients to arrive at their medical appointments wearing a cloth face covering.”
Earlier this month, Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria ordered everyone on base to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public, and this includes the popular medical clinic and pharmacy. He made this order on the heels of an April 5 decree from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who instructed everyone on a federal installation to wear cloth face coverings in public and at work when they can’t keep their social distance.
Esper’s order applies to service members, civilian employees, family members and Defense Department contractors, but not at a service member’s home if they live on base.
“Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work areas,” reads Esper’s April 5 memo.
During the commute to the Academy, base police at the South Gate will require drivers and in some cases, passengers, to lower their face coverings for proper identification.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
“The Department of Defense is committed to taking every precaution to ensure the health and wellbeing of our service members, DoD civilian employees, families, and the nation,” Esper said in the memo.
In an early April press briefing, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis asked everyone in the state to wear face coverings when they leave their homes.
Visit www.usafa.af.mil/Coronavirus and www.usafa.edu/news/coronavirus for more information.