FORT HUACHUCA — Commanding General Tony Hale started the 28th COVID-19 Town Hall session earlier this week with bad news — the numbers of those who have tested positive at the installation and who are in quarantine, are higher than ever.

Hale said that “this past week” there were 22 positive cases reported on post. There are also “over 150 soldiers and their families in quarantine,” Hale added.

“These are the highest numbers we’ve seen since the pandemic started,” Hale said.

The general also said a graduation had to be postponed and soldiers held back in quarantine were unable to spend Thanksgiving with family.

Because of the rise in numbers, Hale said he issued a sixth general order that reinforces a mask mandate for all personnel while inside Fort Huachuca and for all service members when they’re off post.

All personnel are required to wear a mask or face covering inside all public buildings even when social distancing is achieved. Service members meanwhile, must follow the same edict when off the installation, except when eating or drinking at a restaurant.

The order also places restrictions on students. Advanced Individual Training students can’t leave the post, while Military Occupational Specialty Training students and Non-Commissioned Officer Academy students are restricted to Sierra Vista.

Late last month, Hale and his spokesperson reported 14 soldiers from the same class at Fort Huachuca had tested positive for the virus after attending a Columbus Day weekend event outside the installation in Sierra Vista.

Some good news came out of the town hall session from Mark Goodman, Fort Huachuca’s Superintendent of Accommodation Schools. Goodman said there has not been “one known case” of COVID-19 among the student population. He also said in-person classes have been ongoing at the schools on post since Aug. 17.

Fort Huachuca’s next COVID-19 Town Hall will be broadcast on Dec. 8. at 6 p.m. Anyone interested in watching the session, can go to: https://www.facebook.com/u.s.armyforthuachuca.