JBLM updates for Covid-19

More services and rec opportunities opening Saturday

By RangerKen on May 6, 2020

Your daily update on JBLM and the impacts of COVID-19. Here is your May 6 update

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A few more services and recreation opportunities will open this Saturday for local military, Lt. Gen Randy George told a town hall audience via Facebook, Tuesday.

At JBLM, military personnel will be allowed to travel beyond the current 50 mile radius restrictions to visit state and national parks only. No overnight stays are allowed, George said. Personnel must continue to follow state social distancing rules when at those parks.

Other services to open starting Saturday include American Lake for fishing, kayaking and recreation, however, MWR will not have rentals available. The McChord Auto Shop will also open for active duty only.  The Northwest Adventure Center should open in a couple weeks, George said.

George said the number of Covid-19 cases on base have continued to "significantly" drop this week. While Gov. Jay Inslee extended the current shelter in place restrictions unitl May 31, George said he will do his best to maintain the same, however, there will be a gradual pick up of the training pace. To those ends, units and services at CIF and Waller Hall will transition from minimum essential to mission essential, bringing on another 10% of the total force.

"You should expect a call from your command to come into work," George added.

George said he'll likely open other services and programs such as gyms and sit-down restaurant service in tandem with Inslee's phases.  Those are HERE

George said personnel required to make that leap back to work will hear from their commands. These will mostly be for maintenance and supply needs, military police, weapons qualifications and other soldier readiness. Child care will also re-open for those personnel coming on board.  Slots are guaranteed if you were in CDC before the closings, however, with less children allowed at any one time, as stated last week, your child may be assigned to a different CDC. 

Starting May 8, CDC’s won't provide any additional space for Minimum Mission Essential personnel if they haven’t already been in care, which gives time for Child and Youth Services to assess capacity to offer care to Mission Essential patrons who were in care pre-COVID-19.

Mask coverings will not be required for most children, however, some older children might wear masks - individual care centers will update parents.

Madigan is looking at visitor issues, however, at this time, it is still limited.  Spouses cannot attend OBGYN appointments, for example.

George said he doubts there will be any summer camps for kids in June, but officials are still looking at possibilities later in the summer.

Col. Skye Duncan, garrison commander, said they are looking to re-open the library in the next couple weeks if approved by medical experts.

George said the Dentac commander is looking to get the dental clinics back open next month, but they are currently seeing acute cases.

Just because PCS dates are after the current June 30 stop move date, they won't all happen on time.  There are no official announcements yet.  George said he is reviewing exception to policies for specific PCS moves daily.

The Clarkdale Duplexes will start receiving their fences in 2021 or 2022, Duncan said.  Homeowners can bring in a temporary fence at their own expense if approved with Lincoln.

As for the Recycling pickups, Duncan said the base is dependent on an outside contractor, and until Washington State opens it's recycling centers, pickup won't commence.

As a reminder, Eagles Pride and Whispering Firs Golf Courses are both open, however there is no golf cart or other equipment rentals available. Golfers must walk and limit group sizes. The driving range is closed.

Finally, the Religious support and Family Life Counseling Center will open May 11 for groups consisting of 10 persons or less.