JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Naval Air Station Jacksonville Commanding Officer is encouraging personnel and their loved ones to get vaccinated as soon as possible, but whether they are vaccinated or not, they’ll be wearing masks inside buildings moving forward, he said Tuesday.
Commanding Officer Jeff Hill posted an update on on Facebook explaining that effective Tuesday, masks will be required by everyone, regardless of vaccination/immunization status, in all NAS JAX buildings. He said individual tenant commands are encouraged to do the same.
“This includes all MWR facilities (unless doing cardio), Galley, Chapel, CDC & CYP, Fleet & Family Support Center, Building 1, all Navy Exchange retail and food service locations, and the Commissary,” Hill wrote.
But he said he knows it might take a minute “for folks to find and dust off their masks.”
So Tuesday will be a grace period and patrons won’t be turned away for not having a mask but will be reminded to wear one. Starting Wednesday, though, “no mask = no entry.”
Hill shared some statistics from the fire chief about local hospital ERs and first responders, including two-hour wait times for those arriving by ambulance and five-hour wait times for others in the ER. “Of 851 COVID patients in Duval hospitals, 849 are unvaccinated—the two vaccinated had other significant health issues,” Hill said. “Do not delay - get your vaccine today at the hospital aboard the base or out in the community.”