FORT POLK – Fort Polk and JRTC leadership addressed concerns and questions on Facebook Live on Monday afternoon, just hours before the Stay-At-Home order went into effect.
Commanding General of JRTC and Fort Polk, Brigadier General Patrick D. Frank, Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital (BJACH) Commander Colonel Jody Dugai and Garrison Commander Colonel Ryan Roseberry each took turns informing the public on what is going on inside the gates of Fort Polk.
Brig. Gen. Frank said that 142 people are in quarantine – 82 soldiers, 54 family members, five Department of the Army civilians and one contractor – as of the Monday meeting. Twenty nine are in isolation – 15 soldiers and 14 family members.
COL Dugai later explained being in quarantine means they do not have disease but have been to an area that has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with it. It is a chance to protect and watch over individuals.
Isolation means the patient either has the disease or has been tested and doctors think the patient’s results will be positive.
All essential personnel on Fort Polk will continue doing their regular assignments with some modifications.
“We’ve already identified that leaders are mission essential, but from an Army prospective, our Soldiers and their training are essential in ensuring they can continue to develop their individual and collective unit tasks,” Brig. Gen. Frank said. “The training that we have identified over the next several weeks continues to ensure that if called by the nation, we’re ready to respond to any of the mission sets that we would be placed into.”
The Commissary on post will limit the amount of certain items people can purchase at one time, including toilet paper, chicken and beef. It continues to be open at regular times.
COL Roseberry ensured watchers that services will remain available on post. Those services include digital networks, public works, water, electricity, general maintenance, garbage disposal and mail.
The drive-thru COVID-19 testing is open for Tricare beneficiaries from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., as of Monday. It is located in the back of the Mission Training Complex.
COL Dugai instructed parents that need a child under three years old examined to call the clinic first instead of showing up to the drive-thru.
The drive-thru clinic questions a patient on symptoms to provide instructions on how to go forward and can also do tests on-site.
BJACH is starting a drive-thru pharmacy starting on Tuesday. COL Dugai says the wait times from dropoff to pick up will be around four hours. More information about the pharmacy will be made available on the Fort Polk and JRTC Facebook page soon.
Gyms are now closed on post
30 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, waiting on results
No restrictions going on or off post
50-mile radius is still in effect
Gas pumps will remain open, even for closed shoppettes
Veterinarian and Dental offices are open for emergencies only
Huddle House is closed
Starbucks is open
COL Dugai emphasised the need to stop smoking or vaping