Fort Drum requiring masks indoors for all employees


Paul Steven Ghiringhelli
Sign welcomes motorists entering Fort Drum at the Iraqi Freedom Gate. To avoid rush-hour delays this summer at this gate, installation officials urge commuters to use the Mount Belvedere Gate, accessible from Watertown by Route 283 or from Interstate 81 by Route 342, or the 45th Infantry Division Gate, roughly two miles south of U.S. Route 11 traveling on Route 26 South.

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Masks are again required at some places on the Fort Drum installation.

Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum Milford H. Beagle updated General Order 1K, which officially reinstated mask mandates for all indoor public buildings. The new mandate will require masks or face coverings, regardless of vaccination status in all buildings at Fort Drum.

This order requires unvaccinated service members who travel outside of the tri-county area to any “substantial” or “high” county while off-duty, including where leave or pass would normally not be required, to receive battalion-level commander approval. Additionally, unvaccinated service members arriving at Fort Drum after international travel, including those preparing for redeployment, will be required to adhere to restriction of movement orders.

The order also now permits only vaccinated personnel to enter the Magrath Sport Complex prior to 9 a.m. each day. Personnel will be required to provide proof of vaccination upon entering. After 9 a.m., the facility will be available to all personnel, but unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask.

According to the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention Jefferson County is now an area of substantial transmission level. As per guidance from the CDC and Department of Defense all service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are now required to wear a mask. These changes took effect immediately on August 6, 2021.

“I remain hopeful that these additional measures and being vigilant will lead to a decrease in the transmission risk in our area,” Commander Beagle said in a press release. “If conditions change, we will continue to consult with health officials to determine the best way forward.”

The DOD recently issued restrictions for military installations to mitigate the spread of COVID. This included new mask mandates and travel restrictions.

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