JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. - As the United States is now leading the world in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus, Joint Base Langley-Eustis declared a public health emergency Friday amid the ongoing pandemic.
The emergency order will remain in place for 30 days, with the option to terminate or extend based on emerging requirements.
The commander of JBLE said the declaration allows greater access to health care resources and broader authority to limit access onto the installation and restrict the movement of residents. In the coming days, base officials will further limit access to mission essential personnel only. More details on these restrictions will be made available early next week.
The declaration provides JBLE additional avenues to fight the spread of the virus "and achieve the greatest public health benefit while maintaining operational effectiveness.
"This decision will be met with some criticism and frustration, but I know the majority of the base population and surrounding community will understand and will continue to encourage those around them to take every step to help prevent the spread of the virus," the commander said.
The commander of JBLE said Monday that restrictions to base access for Langley Air Force Base and Fort Eustis will go into effect on Wednesday, April 1 at 6 a.m.
Only people who are deemed mission-critical personnel will be allowed access. Everyone else, to include retirees and VHIC card holders, with normal installation access are now only allowed entry on Monday and Tuesday until further notice.
Mission-critical personnel are all active duty, guard, reserve, government civilian and contractors as identified by the appropriate supervisor or unit commander.
Base officials say these restrictions are necessary to reduce the footprint on JBLE during the highest mission periods. Protecting the health and safety of the base population - including service members, dependents, retirees and civilians - from potential exposure is vital to reducing community transmission while maintaining operational effectiveness.
Exceptions to the guidance include base access for:
- Active duty, reserve, guard personnel, and their dependents with ID cards seeking essential installation support services. (i.e. Healthcare, Commissary, BX/PX, Exchange Mart)
- Any beneficiary (including retirees) with a scheduled medical or dental appointment.
- Residents of Hunt Housing Community and Balfour Beatty Community as well as their visitors who possess a base pass. New passes will only be issued with unit commander/director or above approval.
- Approved residents of Bethel Recreational Area (FAMCAMP), Fort Eustis Outdoor Recreation RV Park and Lodging/TLF.
- United States Postal Service, UPS, Amazon and grocery delivery services (Instacart) other previously authorized official delivery services will continue. Fast food deliveries will not be allowed access to the base. Personnel can retrieve fast food deliveries from the Visitor Control Center.
Retirees and their families who are TRICARE beneficiaries and are unable to pick up prescriptions on the designated days may use network pharmacies for urgent needs. Members are also highly encouraged to take advantage of the TRICARE mail order pharmacy and can call 1-877-363-1303 to transfer their prescription and speak to a pharmacist 24/7.
Click here to read the full memo on the declaration.