JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While Naval Air Station Jacksonville has not changed its policy on face masks base-wide, thousands of personnel in the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast are now required to wear the protective equipment in indoor settings.
According to NAS Jacksonville public affairs representative Kaylee Larocque, “NAS Jax Commanding Officer Capt. Jeff Hill sent out emails to the 120+ tenant commands, informing them that they can make a determination for their individual commands and employees based on their specific mission requirements and unique mission-related challenges.”
In response, the commanding officer of the FRCSE issued an April 11 memo outlining the command’s face mask policy, which becomes increasingly more strict as community transmission levels rise.
“When the COVID-19 Community Level is High in the county where an FRCSE facility is located, indoor mask-wearing shall be required for ALL service members, federal civilian employees, onsite contractor personnel (collectively known as “DoD personnel”), and all visitors, regardless of vaccination status,” the FRCSE memo said. “Additionally, a testing program for those who are unvaccinated will be required at the facility.”
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed Duval County, Florida as having a “high” community transmission.
“Fleet Readiness Center Southeast employs 5,500+ personnel and is the largest command on the base,” Larocque said. “Their commanding officer had decided to make face coverings mandatory indoors starting [Thursday]. They will also be worn outdoors if six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.”
Larocque said that other commands may also follow the same guidelines in the near future.
Regardless of vaccination status, all patients and visitors are still required to wear a mask when visiting Naval Hospital Jacksonville or any of its branch health clinics.