Mandatory COVID-19 face mask policy resumes at Whiteman AFB, effective July 26

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Master Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

(U.S. Air Force graphic by Master Sgt. Alexander W. Riedel)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --

To help combat the spread of COVID-19, Whiteman Air Force Base officials have released an update supplementing existing Department of Defense guidance on the use of cloth face coverings, effective July 26.

Beginning Monday, all individuals on installation property will again be required to wear cloth face coverings at all times when indoors and when the maintenance of six feet of physical distance in outdoor work areas is not possible, regardless of personal vaccination status.

Base public health officials observed recent increases in COVID-19 cases in Missouri and local counties and advised the updated guidance to improve installation protective measures against the growing risk of community spread. In addition to adherence to the updated mask guidance, personnel should also continue to follow strict health protection measures to include, but not limited to, social distancing and disciplined personal hygiene, such as hand washing and disinfection of commonly touched surfaces.

This guidance applies to Total-Force military personnel, DOD civilian employees and contractors, family members and all individuals visiting base facilities.

Any cloth items worn as face coverings (e.g., neck gaiters, neck warmers, balaclavas, etc.) should be functional, cleaned and maintained in compliance with current Air Force instructions, and need to cover the mouth and nose.

“Every adjustment to our public health measures is carefully considered and not taken lightly,” said Col. Daniel Diehl, 509th Bomb Wing commander. “We take this step with the best interest of our personnel and our mission readiness in mind. All members of our teams are vital to our success and task of providing the nation with persistent strategic deterrence and lethal global strike capability. Everyone’s continued commitment to fighting the spread of COVID-19 is critical."

Exemptions:
• Children under the age of two should not wear a face covering due to potential choking/suffocation hazards.
• Any accompanied minor with a medical condition or mental special needs that makes wearing a face covering difficult or potentially hazardous.
• A face covering must be worn into the Whiteman AFB Fitness Center. Face coverings may be removed while actively performing cardiovascular exercise (running, biking, elliptical). Face coverings should be re-donned after completion of cardiovascular exercise.
• Face coverings are required at Whiteman AFB pools; however, they are not required while actually swimming.