FORT HUACHUCA— COVID-19 cases on Fort Huachuca among soldiers coming back from holiday leave were lower than expected, officials said this week, and as a result some restrictions placed on service members have been relaxed.
Additionally, officials at the Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center on post said once the next shipment of vaccines arrives at the installation, the second round of the Moderna vaccine will be given to everyone who received the vaccine under Phase 1 last week.
Brig. Gen. Tony Hale, the Fort Huachuca commander, delivered the good news.
“We’re trending in the right direction on Fort Huachuca,” Hale said at the 32nd Facebook Live COVID-19 Town Hall Tuesday. “It’s evident that our soldiers did the right thing when they were on holiday block leave as we had significantly less positive cases upon their return than we had originally anticipated during our planning.”
Hale said officials at the installation charged with testing the returning troops were able to quarantine and isolate those who did test positive so the virus would not continue marching across the post.
“As a result, the vast majority of our students have returned to class and are back on track to leave Fort Huachuca for their first units of assignments,” Hale said.
Some of the restrictions that were posted in General Order No. 8 about two weeks ago have been loosened in a new general order that became effective Wednesday at midnight, Hale said.
That includes opening the gyms on post; allowing larger gatherings for both official and non-official purposes from 10 people to 20; and allowing non-essential shopping on and off the installation.
Additionally, Advanced Individual Training students restricted to the bubble that is Prosser Village are now allowed to move about the entire installation, but still can’t leave Fort Huachuca. Col. Loren Traugutt, commander of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade at the installation, said the Military Occupational Specialty Training students are now allowed off post but must remain in Sierra Vista.
Garrison Commander Col. Jarrod Moreland delivered more good news, adding that in-person religious services would begin this weekend and the bowling alley will also reopen “for all authorized MWR patrons.”
While it’s not yet clear when the next shipment of the Moderna vaccine will arrive on Fort Huachuca, Lt. Col. Wendy Gray, commander of Raymond W. Bliss, said, “We will give the second dose to all those who received the vaccine.”
Gray said clinic officials have begun calling “all those who are at high risk and over the age of 75 to see who wants to receive the vaccine.” There are military retirees in the area who have health care benefits through Raymond W. Bliss.
“We are also working to set up a dedicated phone line with a dedicated team member to assist with this endeavor.”
Gray said that anyone wanting more information can visit the Raymond W. Bliss Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RWBAHC, or the health care facility’s new website, www.raymond/bliss.tricare.mil.