U.S. military places unvaccinated employees under new COVID guidelines, may mandate vaccines

Unvaccinated military personnel will be required to wear a mask, distance themselves from...
Unvaccinated military personnel will be required to wear a mask, distance themselves from others and undergo regular COVID-19 tests.(Pixabay)
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 9:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The United States Department of Defense is requiring unvaccinated employees or employees who are unwilling to disclose their vaccination status to wear masks and follow other health guidelines, the department announced Thursday, July 29.

In a statement from Jamal Brown, a Pentagon spokesperson, those who cannot attest to their vaccination status will be required to wear a mask, physically distance themselves, undergo regular COVID-19 tests and be subject to travel restrictions.

According to the statement, department secretary Lloyd Austin plans to work with medical professionals and Joint Chiefs of Staff to determine how and when military personnel will be required to take the vaccine.

“The Department of Defense is moving quickly to meet President Biden’s commitment to defeat COVID-19, and that includes being able to ensure every member of our civilian and military workforce is protected,” Brown wrote.

Per the statement, the military will continue to offer vaccines to its members and their families globally.

On Thursday, Pima County’s online vaccination dashboard shows that vaccination rates in the three zip code areas closest to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson are at less than 50%.

In the 85707 area code, where David-Monthan is located, 7.3% of the area’s population of 110 are fully vaccinated. The 85708 area, which has more than 4,000 residents, has a 12.9% rate. In the 85730 area code, where more than 39,000 people live, 44.5% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Dashboard data shows a sizeable population of Pima County residents have only gotten the first dose.

Pima County’s total vaccinate rate averages to about 60%.

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