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Base life returning to normal

Plus updates on vaccines and more

Life at Joint Base Lewis-McChord continues to find its way back after a year of COVID restrictions. Photo by Staff Sgt. Francisco Colon, 1-2 SBCT, 7th Infantry Division.

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A year after COVID restrictions closed most services on base, life is starting to return to normal with more openings of services and programs.

Joint Base Lewis-McChord officials updated the community Monday also discussing on-base housing turnovers, youth sports, and vaccines.

Lt. Gen. Ray George, JBLM and I Corps commander reiterated that vaccines are currently available to those aged 40 and over, plus to certain job specialties as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions. George said that anyone who has declined receiving the vaccine can still opt in.

Vaccine dispersals will shift next month on base. A drive thru will open around April 6 on McChord by appointment. This will increase capacity as the American Lake Club location is phased out. Those that have already received one dose will return to American Lake for their second dose.  Those 75 and older can drop in at the drive thru without an appointment. There are no options for drop in vaccines at the end of the day for left-over vaccines like some off base facilities currently offer.

The base will continue to administer the Pfizer drug.

Col. Skye Duncan, garrison commander said Lincoln Military Housing is behind in turning over homes. In the past that process took two weeks. "It is taking longer than that now," Duncan said.

Duncan said 350 homes should be back online by June 1, and a 150 more by end of summer, in addition to regular turn overs of currently occupied homes during the upcoming PCS season.

Those homes being currently renovated are coming back online at the pace of two a week, Duncan added.

Spring sports are expanding as the region moves to Phase Three with open registration right now for golf, karate, flag football and cheer.

Child care is running at 80% capacity while roughly 95% of the entire base work force has returned, Duncan said. A small number of jobs will remain as telework positions permanently.

Kimbro pool and the Splash Pad are not open due to a leak. There is no time frame for reopening.

Military police will aggressively monitor speeding, running stop signs, and cell use in housing areas. George said 50% of those violations are occurring in the violators own neighborhoods.

The recycling Center should open within the next two months for ID card holders, Duncan said.

The following is a list of other changes released this week by base officials.

  • All indoor dining, gym, MWR, worship, and retail facilities are authorized to operate at 50% capacity.
  • PT now authorized for execution in formations up to company level.
  • Warrior Restaurants are authorized indoor seating at 50% capacity.
  • Food courts and JBLM retail food establishments are authorized indoor seating at 50% capacity.
  • Warrior Zone is authorized indoor seating at 50% capacity.
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers are open at 50% capacity:

- Active Duty/Guard/Reserve from 5:30 a.m. to 8 a.m.

- All authorized users from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Faith-based indoor activities at 50% capacity, to include worship services, Strong Bonds, religious education, chapel auxiliaries, and fellowship activities.
  • Social activities, including food service are authorized consistent with food handling guidelines applied by Warrior Restaurants.
  • Rental of events spaces is authorized, for details contact the MWR Central Office: 253-966-7466.
  • Indoor Change of Command / Responsibility Ceremonies are authorized 50% capacity or 400 personnel, whichever is less.
  • Outdoor training / competitions / ceremonies authorized up to 400 people including spectators with masks.
  • Home / barracks indoor social gatherings authorized up to 10 people from outside their domicile - and outdoor social gatherings to 50 people.
  • First general officer in chain of command approves exceptions to policy for leave outside of the United States and its territories.
  • Inbound PCS personnel are exempt from restriction of movement requirements unless coming from outside the United States or its territories.

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