Drew removes mask, screening requirements, but with caveats

  • Published
  • By John Ingle
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — The installation and 82nd Training Wing commander here released new guidance that removes the mask requirement for base personnel and visitors regardless of vaccination status when the COVID-19 Community Level is low, but with a few caveats.

Brig. Gen. Lyle K. Drew issued the guidance in a memo released May 6, 2022. In the memo, the general said personnel and guests are still required to wear a mask inside the Child Development Center and 82nd Medical Group.

“Additionally, all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask on (Department of Defense) transportation assets traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and at indoor DoD transportation hubs. If the Community Level changes to high, then indoor mask-wearing is required regardless of vaccination status.”

The new edict also removes the screening requirement when the base is in a COVID-19 Community Level of low. The caveat to this portion, though, is that weekly surveillance testing will be required for all unvaccinated members of the 82nd MDG. If the level increases to medium or high, the screening of unvaccinated Sheppard personnel will resume.

Drew also gave group commanders and the Sheppard NCO Academy commandant the latitude to require masks and/or screening, as well as “take other actions to limit access to their organization’s facilities.”

The general said those who want to continue wearing masks can do so. He added that those with COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19 must continue to follow the guidance for quarantine and isolation.