e-Townhall graphic

Thursday’s town hall featured a handful of announcements worth noting.

Garrison Commander Col. Kelsey Smith will hold a town hall via Facebook Live each Thursday at 9 a.m. The live stream is broadcast on Team Redstone’s Facebook page and the full video is available afterward on theredstonerocket.com.

Some of the announcements included patrons of the Exchange and Commissary will be required to wear cloth facemasks upon entering the facilities and Fox Army Health Center is starting to fill new prescriptions in the drive-thru pharmacy.

Fox Commander Col. Anthony Meador described the new process. He said when a person enters the drive-thru, they’ll be asked if it’s a new prescription or pickup.

Then, if it’s a new prescription, they’ll be asked if it’s a hard copy, call-in or fax. The person working the drive-thru pharmacy will also collect a phone number and jot down the make and model of the patron’s car.

After that, patrons will have two options. One is to simply drop the new prescription off and come back and get it another day or pull around and wait in their car for the prescription to be filled and brought to them.

Meador said it depends on how much time a person has – he estimated wait times of about 30 minutes – or exactly what their need is for a particular medication.

“We expect the process, after a few iterations, to be running quite smoothly,” he said. “That is an effort to bring more foot traffic outside of the building. We’re trying to observe – the best we can – the governor’s stay at home order.”

Meador also urged patrons who have prescriptions ready to come pick them up and to anticipate your medication usage by calling them in 72 hours before you run out.

“I will tell you that in any scenario where you arrive for a pickup and there’s an issue or a concern, it will be rectified on the spot,” he said. “The worst thing that is going to happen is we’re going to ask you to pull around and park while we get that issue worked out for you. You are not going to leave without your medication, especially when you’ve called it in.”

Other questions answered included:

Q: What are rules for masks on the installation?

Col. Kelsey Smith: The Department of Defense guidance that came out at the beginning of the week, specifically stated that individuals on a DOD installation should be prepared to wear a cloth mask if they are unable to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. It doesn’t require everyone to wear the mask at all times – or to wear a cloth covering at all times – what it requires or encourages, is it encourages the use of a mask when an individual cannot maintain 6 feet of social distancing. We are encouraging everyone who can’t maintain that social distance to have a cloth face covering, I have one in my pocket every day. And when I come in contact or can’t maintain that social distance, I put it on. I encourage you to do the same thing. At the same time, I acknowledge that some of us are comfortable wearing the mask all daylong, and that makes us individually feel better. However, there are those that until they approach a 6-foot distance, they’re not going to put the mask on, and I encourage all of us to take care of ourselves, make sure we’re compliant, allow others to do the same.

Q: My child does not normally attend the CDC but I need childcare while I’m at work. Since I’ve been identified as mission essential by my organization, can I use the CDC?

Smith: If you’re mission essential, what I will tell you is that if you contact me or you contact parent central services at MWR, and you have a mission essential designation by your tenant organization commander, then we will make all efforts to make room in our child development center for you and your child or for your child particularly. Now I’m going to caution you though. We’re opening it up for mission essential personnel while we are at the current health protection condition. When we relax the standards, we will return to normal operations and those patrons who previously used and had a spot at the Child Development Center, they will return that position back to them as they begin to come back to work.

Q: Is there any place on Redstone Arsenal to get a face mask?

Smith: Redstone Arsenal believes that you as individuals will have the ability to maintain your 6 feet of social distancing. That makes absolute sense to us. The DOD directive or policy specifically states that unless you come within 6 feet of one another it’s not necessary to put a mask on. So at this time Redstone Arsenal is not making it mandatory to wear it to access the installation, and at the same time we’re not issuing them for those people who are working in tenant organization who are required to work within 6 feet of one another. You can be assured that if you work for Redstone Arsenal, the Garrison, that we are issuing masks and the appropriate PPE to those individuals that have to work within 6 feet of one another or have a specific task to do that requires them to have personal protective equipment, but I don’t expect we’ll be issuing masks to the general public. What we rely on is the DOD directive that says that each person should be able to come up with their own cloth face covering as long as it’s in good taste. And they should be able to wear it anytime they’re within 6 feet of one another. And we look to you to enforce that internally. And make sure you’re following the directive.

Q: Will Fox Army Health Center be able to test for COVID-19 antibodies to see if people who may have had COVID-19 are now recovered and able to return to work?

Meador: As of now, MTS in the Department of the Army do not have that capability. It doesn’t mean we won’t. I can tell you there are some rapid fielding initiatives ongoing for military treatment facilities for testing equipment, but that capability has yet to make itself available to us. That’s not to say it won’t. Currently we do not have that. That’s not to say commercially, it’s not available to some facilities. We expect that it’s sometime in the near future to happen, but currently, in what’s being presented to me at Fox Army Health Center, that capability does not exist.

Q: Will Fox Army Health Center consider having weekend hours during this pandemic?

Meador: I will tell you currently the demand has not warranted our study of this. I can tell you if for whatever reason that on our Monday through Friday hours it becomes either not doable or where a weekend time is something that would alleviate, you know, again, an overabundance of customers. We will certainly look at that.

Q: What about controlled prescriptions?

Meador: It remains the same. We have documentation that you’ll need to sign.

Q: Why is Reveille and Retreat no longer playing on the installation?

Command Sgt. Maj. Juan Jimenez: The Arsenal has temporarily paused the detail to ensure the safety of our Soldiers that conduct that tradition of raising and lowering and folding the flag. We’re looking at that to ensure that social distancing, and we’re doing our part to ensure that they’re safe as well. So as of now the flag will be flown 24/7 until we pick up that detail again.

Q: Will CDC fees be prorated for those individuals who currently are teleworking and are staying at home and are not using it?

Smith: Yes, we do absolutely realize that you have already paid for your CDC services and we understand that you aren’t currently using them. My MWR staff and the CDC have assured me that rather than to give you a refund, what we will be doing is applying those credit hours to your child’s care at the at the conclusion of the COVID-19. And when we are able to return to providing that care for your children, we will credit your account so that you can continue to avail yourself of the CDC services with dollars that you’ve already paid.

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