Keller Corner: Update on Coronavirus: West Point implements new face covering policy

By West Point Public Affairs

April 16th, 2020 | News, News and Features

WEST POINT, N.Y.—The U.S. Military Academy will require cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to maintain in accordance with Department of Defense and Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines effective Wednesday.
“We are committed to taking every precaution to ensure the health and well-being of our entire community in response to the coronavirus disease pandemic,” Col. Cecil Marson, West Point Garrison commander, said. “We will continue to implement all measures necessary to mitigate risks to the spread of the disease to protect our people, safeguard our residents and support the government’s whole-of-nation response.”
All military personnel, family members, civilian employees, contractors and visitors will wear cloth face coverings on academy grounds to the extent practical when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers.
This does not include wearing face coverings for residents living in military housing on the installation.
Personnel are encouraged to follow the same guidance when not physically on West Point.
Keller Army Community Hospital, Commissary, Exchange and AAFES food locations, and MWR facilities will require work personnel and patrons to wear face coverings.
Face coverings will not be provided, and starting today (April 9), patrons will be turned away if they do not have them.
Types of face coverings can include scarves, bandanas and cloths. If masks or face coverings are not available, as an interim measure, individuals are encouraged to fashion face coverings from household items or common materials, such as clean T-shirts or other clean clothes that can cover the nose and mouth area. Personnel should not use any leftover uniforms for face coverings due to permethrin and or wrinkle-free coatings embedded in the fabric.
Servicemembers may wear face coverings while in uniform. Personnel will use good judgement in choosing face coverings. Servicemembers in uniform will not wear face coverings that have printed words, or profane, racist, demeaning or derogatory logos, script or imagery.
Security checkpoints may require the lowering of face covers to verify identification.
For more information on the CDC’s guidelines for wearing face coverings, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
For updates on academy operations, restrictions or cancellations, go to www.westpoint.edu/coronavirus.