NEWS | Jan. 28, 2021

JBER announces end to PHE order

By Senior Airman Crystal A. Jenkins 673 ABW/PA

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson installation commander has rescinded the Public Health Emergency (PHE) originally declared on Nov. 9. Because of the steady reduction in community transmission of COVID, maintained medical capability and sufficient testing capacity, JBER will also transition from Health Protection Condition CHARLIE to BRAVO effective Jan. 29, 2021.

“I want to begin by thanking each and every member of team JBER for your sacrifices and hard work to help us reduce the sustained community transmission of COVID-19,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, JBER and 673d Air Base Wing commander. “You have demonstrated diligence in safe protective measures. Our steadfast efforts are securing a consistent reduction in community transmission and we maintain a resilient medical capability and sufficient testing supplies. These positive trends and your efforts to minimize the spread of the virus allow us to rescind the PHE and return to HPCON Bravo.”

While the virus is still present, vigilance must still be continued.  The ability to maintain this posture relies on adherence to Public Health guidelines which include mask wear, physical distancing, good hygiene and staying home when sick. 

“We all carry this responsibility equally, and for the foreseeable future this means we will still be wearing masks in all public spaces on JBER,” Aguilar said. “Commanders will continue to use shift-based and flexible schedules and maximize telework when possible. Inside and outside the workplace, we must continue to reduce our exposure to individuals outside of our immediate household.”

The revised 27 Jan JBER Installation COVID Policy includes the measures that will be kept in place to ensure continued mission readiness and the health and safety of the community and may be viewed here: LINK

Department of Defense directives on mask wear, physical distancing, sanitation, and hygiene remain in effect.

Although the guidelines for quarantine after close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19 and restriction of movement following travel remain unchanged, several restrictions have been modified.

For instance, beginning at 5 a.m., Jan. 29 base access will resume normal operations at the JBER Visitor Control Center (VCC). Chain of command exceptions to policy for contractors or service providers is no longer required. Also, exceptions to policy are no longer needed for guests to receive visitor passes.

“We expect a surge in demand for passes for friends and families and we recommend going to the VCC after 5 p.m. for faster service,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Gilbert S. Wyche II, Commander of the 673d Security Forces Squadron. “As a reminder, all contractors, service providers and visitors require a DoD sponsor to obtain a base pass prior to entering our gates. Also, JBER residents are responsible for their guests who must adhere to the provisions outlined in the JBER COVID-19 Policy memo.”

Common Access Card holders intending to sponsor an individual may use the Intelink Sharepoint site located at: https://intelshare.intelink.gov/sites/jointbaseelmendorfrichardson/JBERSites/BaseAccess/SitePages/Home.aspx or through the JBER website. This enables CAC holders to sponsor up to nine U.S. citizens for up to 60 days within 72 hours of their arrival to JBER. The trusted traveler program is still suspended.

Additionally, please note that all visitor control center operations will be transferred to the Richardson VCC on Feb. 15, 2021 to accommodate construction upgrades at the Boniface VCC.

“Socializing is an important part of being healthy and resilient, doing this in a COVID-responsible manner will protect all of us,” Aguilar said. “To encourage this, we have increased the limit on private gatherings, indoor and outdoor.”

Private gatherings can now have up to three family groups indoors and up to five family groups outdoors. Please refer to the 27 Jan JBER COVID Policy memorandum for more information as to what constitutes a family group.

In addition to private gatherings, the limit on official indoor and outdoor gatherings also increased to 25 people with meetings still conducted virtually when possible.

Unit Commanders in the grade of 0-4 and above, or comparable director level supervisors, may approve gatherings of up to 40 people indoors and outdoors with appropriate COVID mitigation protocols.

The previous Restriction and Movement memorandum under the Public Health Emergency has also been rescinded.  Activities such as in person dining off installation are no longer restricted by the installation, however personnel will refer to their chain of command for details on unit specific authorized activities. 

All personnel must continue to comply with Alaska State and local municipality health mandates and emergency orders and respect all guidelines or restrictions imposed by local businesses.

Travelers to JBER must comply with all quarantine and ROM guidance in the JBER COVID Policy memo. Leaders of military members traveling must complete a risk assessment prior to travel. For DoD civilian employees, a risk assessment is mandatory for official travel and strongly encouraged for all other travel.

“I want everyone to know how grateful I am to the JBER community for their vigilance and adherence to the PHE standards.  We have proven with adherence to public health guidelines and COVID mitigation protocols we are able to safeguard our national defense capabilities while keeping our force healthy, lethal and ready,” Aguilar said.  “But we have to have balance!  Maintaining diligence in adhering to public health guidelines, while consistently looking for ways to carefully enjoy activities is what will ultimately keep us safe and healthy.”

Follow updates on the JBER population prioritization and availability of the COVID-19 vaccine

by visiting JBER’s website at https://www.jber.jb.mil/Coronavirus/.

For more information on the Department of Defense response to the Coronavirus visit

https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines for DoD personnel and their families visit https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Combat-Support/Public-Health/Coronavirus/COVID-19-Vaccine-Efforts/Getting-the-COVID-19-Vaccine.