NEWS | July 29, 2021

JBSA implements HPCON BRAVO PLUS, updates mask mandate

By Steve Elliott 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

JBSA officials have announced the implementation of Health Protection Condition BRAVO PLUS measures beginning July 30, 2021, and updated the installation mask wear policy. According to JBSA Guidance Memo No. 57, effective immediately, individuals are required to wear masks when indoors on federal installations regardless of vaccination status.

“We must minimize spread of COVID-19 to avoid reversing the trends and gains we have made,” said Brig. Gen. Caroline Miller, 502d Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander. “We all must do our part to implement public health recommendations that include physical distancing, wearing face masks, practicing good hand washing, and taking appropriate actions if feeling sick.”

The recent change in policy aligns with a directive issued by the Office of the Secretary of Defense requiring individuals in areas of substantial or high community transmission to don masks, regardless of vaccination status. The updated mask-wear requirement applies to all service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees and visitors. The OSD memorandum further states that service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated must continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DOD Force Health Protection guidance.

JBSA officials continue to emphasize the need for compliance with public health precautions in accordance with established city, state, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and limits.

According to local health officials, getting the COVID-19 vaccination is still the best weapon against the virus. As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge there is greater risk of fatalities as well as an increased probability additional variants could emerge as the SARS-CoV-2 virus mutates, officials state.

Vaccines are available at all San Antonio Market health care facilities. Beneficiaries can book an appointment, including same-day appointments, by visiting TRICARE Online, https://www.tricareonline.com, or by calling CAMO during duty hours at 210-916-9900. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, only patients receiving a vaccine may enter the clinic, with the exception of patients under age 18, who must be accompanied by their legal guardians

All DOD personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn, including within airports.

To stay informed of the latest COVID-19 guidance and available services, monitor the JBSA COVID-19 webpage, https://www.jbsa.mil/coronavirus/.

CDC guidance and definitions of low, moderate, substantial, and high spread can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7030e2-H.pdf. Data on levels of community transmission can be found at the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker website found at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/. The DOD memorandum can be found at https://media.defense.gov/2021/Jul/28/2002814362/-1/-1/1/UPDATED-MASK-GUIDELINES-FOR-ALL-DOD-INSTALLATIONS-AND-OTHER-FACILITIES-OSD006862-21-FOD-FINAL.PDF.