FORT DRUM — Military leadership on post have stepped up coronavirus precautions after positive test rates in the region and on base have spiked in recent weeks.
In a video posted to the official Fort Drum Facebook page Monday afternoon, Brig. Gen. Brett T. Funck, commanding officer of the 10th Mountain Division, said coronavirus infection rates on post have shot up significantly since the end of October, and new restrictions will be put in place to cut down on the spread of the virus.
“Over the past couple weeks, we’ve had a ten-fold increase in COVID-19 rates here on Fort Drum and in the surrounding community,” he said. “From Fort Drum’s perspective, this is because of community spread and also because of external visitors, so we’ve got to mitigate that.”
Brig. Gen. Funck said masks will again be required by everyone while on post, and commanding officers down the chain of command will be empowered to move to shift schedules. He also said virtual meetings will occur in place of in-person meetings whenever possible.
Workplace gatherings will be limited to 25 people at a time, and social gatherings will be limited to 10 people at any one time.
Brig. Gen. Funck also said Fort Drum’s visitor policy will be amended to bring it in line with current state guidelines. Any visitors to the base from outside New York and the five contiguous states — Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — will be required to quarantine for 14 days, including soldiers returning from leave and family visiting people stationed on post.
“If a soldier has a family member coming from outside the five states, they have a responsibility to inform the chain of command that they have a visitor and a quarantine will be required,” Brig. Gen Funck said.
He also cautioned soldiers on post to not go to work if they feel sick.
“Talk to your chain of command, let them know what’s going on, so that we can reduce the spread and we can get after this quickly,” Brig. Gen. Funck said.