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Cases accelerate on JBLM

July is biggest month for virus cases even though only at the half-point, other news, too

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In July, Joint Base Lewis-McChord has recorded more cases of COVID 19 in a single month even though we are only at this month’s half point, and that spread will likely accelerate in the coming weeks, according to Lt. Col. Luke Mease from Madigan speaking Tuesday during a bi-weekly Facebook Townhall.

Madigan continues to test seven days a week in their parking lot. “We are seeing a record number of tests on the installtion,” Mease added.

The positivity rate has also increased on the base. Bases do not provide exact case counts per Defense Department guidance.

Families PCSing to states that require testing to go there, Madigan will provide those tests. This is not included for leave or travel to states requiring testing.

Due to rising cases in Western Washington, the base remains at status quo regarding what is open and available according to Major Gen. Xavier Brunson, commander of the 7th Infantry Division speaking Tuesday on behalf of Lt. Gen. Randy George, commander of I Corps and JBLM. For a list of base restrictions, click here:

Any relaxing of restrictions on base at gyms, pools and more are likely not to change over the next three to four weeks at the earliest said Col. Skye Duncan, garrison commander.

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In other news …

• Off post referals for dental cleanings are still not available even though the base is also not doing cleanings.

• Prior to travel for overseas training, military members will quarantine for 14 days in advance from home according to new DoD guidance pushed down last week.

• The replacement event for the base’s July 4th Freedom Fest scheduled later next month was cancelled this week as Pierce County remains indefinetely in Phase Two.

• Small venues with outdoor events will be announced soon to include movies and music through MWR this summer.

• Schools have up to two weeks before school starts to finalize their plans. Each school will do their own individual planning, probably released in mid August.

• Texas Roadhouse will open near the end of September with operating hours Sunday through Thursday, 11-9 pm, and Friday and Saturdays 11-10 pm.

• PCS season is just starting with movement sections handling the loads successfully, according to Duncan. There is a backlog at Waller Hall for orders and those are being handled according to move dates. Florida and California are currently the only “red” states determined by the DoD. PCS guidance released at the start of the month, and how exceptions of policies are conducted are still in place. 

• Childcare on JBLM will maintain at a maximum of 920 kids with 60 spaces currently available to people already called. Duncan said likely 300 families with a working spouse, known as 1 Delta will not make it into the program. One Echo families will not get care on base. If you can’t get care on base, find a local center that accepts the DoD voucher, verify the slot, bring the applications to parent central to get the paperwork needed. In a week or so, Duncan said where families are on the list will be available through Parent Central.

• There is no update on the recycling center opening for the base.

• Visitors with drivers licensing from states currently labeled “red” are being allowed on base with proper identification.

• The American Lake and McChord clubs are open for reservations for physical distancing-approved events of 50 people or less.

• Prices are rising at the commissary, Duncan said, but he reminded viewers that the commissaries are required by law to only charge 5% above cost of each product.

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