WASHINGTON - The Pentagon will require everyone to wear masks indoors at Department of Defense installations and facilities where COVID-19 transmission is high, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated or not.
In a memorandum issued Wednesday, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Jamal Brown said this applies to "all service members, federal personnel, contractors and visitors at all properties owned by the Department in those areas, in accordance with updated CDC guidelines."
This announcement comes a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again changed its mask guidance, saying both unvaccinated and vaccinated people should wear masks indoors in high coronavirus transmission areas.
According to the agency's online COVID-19 tracker, every city in Hampton Roads except Williamsburg falls under either the "substantial" or "high" levels for community transmission. Hampton Roads is home to a large military community.
Brown's full statement can be found below:
"Deputy Secretary Hicks has directed that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks in indoor settings at Department of Defense installations and facilities in areas of substantial or high transmission, as defined by the CDC, to protect against rising COVID-19 cases. Today’s announcement applies to all service members, federal personnel, contractors, and visitors when indoors at all properties owned by the Department in those areas, in accordance with updated CDC guidelines.
All defense personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn. The Department will review and revise all applicable Force Health Protection guidance to address the new CDC guidelines."