As workers begin to mentally prepare for returning to work on Redstone Arsenal, they are searching to get a picture of what work life will be like once they are through the gate. Will their daily commute now involve a screening process before they’re allowed to enter their place of business?
Will the Arsenal implement some form of antibody testing to see who has had the virus and may – though recent observations may have proved otherwise – be immune to COVID-19?
The short answer to both of those questions is no, but Arsenal leaders addressed some of those concerns last week during a weekly town hall.
“There are rumors abound that tenants are requiring screening of their employees before they allow them to enter buildings,” Garrison Commander Col. Kelsey Smith said.
Smith went on the to say that he’s talked to the majority of tenant leaders on post and no one who he’s had a conversation with is doing any screening of employees, but added: “I cannot tell you that your tenant organizations aren’t going to ask you screening like questions.”
The point of those questions, he said, was to remind people that if they’re sick, they should stay at home.
It gets complicated when you start talking about buildings like the Sparkman Center, which houses several different organizations under one roof.
Smith elaborated that for the Sparkman Center, AMCOM controls the building, which means it will set the policy on what needs to take place to access the building and to make the reoccupation of Arsenal facilities work, it’s going to take a coordinated effort between the tenants in the Sparkman Center and AMCOM and a concerted effort between the tenants and employees.
“I ask you to remember that your tenant organization is the organization who could best answer your questions about the requirements getting in and out of your building,” he said. “And I ask all of our organizations to make sure that we are working together to make sure that everyone who works in that building has the same experience and remains safe and healthy.”
In addition to wondering if or how they’ll be screened for COVID-19, workers also wonder if they’ll be tested for antibodies that would show if they’ve had and recovered from the virus.
“I have not seen, and I’m currently not racking that capability for us here in the medical treatment facilities,” Fox Army Health Center’s Commander Col. Anthony Meador said.