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NEWS: Base policy changes again

By Nancy I. Maanao

(Tumon, Guam) Congressman Michael San Nicolas, who led the effort in Washington, D.C. for Naval Installations Command to have Joint Region Marianas remove its restrictions on Guardsmen, Reservists, Veterans, and retirees from accessing Guam's military bases, provided the following update from Naval Base Guam:

Effective today, March 23rd 2020, U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Grimes will alter the current base access measures. These changes will continue to prevent local transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by limiting unnecessary personal interactions and maximizing social distancing while allowing improved access for all authorized personnel.

The following personnel are authorized to access NBG at all times:

  • Active duty military and United States Coast Guard personnel and their authorized dependents;

  • National Guard and Reserve Component personnel and their authorized dependents;

  • Department of Defense (DoD) civilian employees and their authorized dependents;

  • Navy Exchange (NEX) and Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) employees; and

  • Full-time contractors executing Mission Essential Base Operating Support, maintenance and construction.

Patrons who do not fall into any of the categories listed above are authorized to access NBG all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday NBG requests that patrons come to the base at different times of the day to avoid long lines in the morning, limit unnecessary personal interactions and maximize social distancing.

NBG requests that patrons attempt to access the base only during authorized times. Attempts to enter the base when not authorized causes unnecessary social interactions with critical NBG first responders who are tasked to provide safety and security of the installation.

NEX and DECA Orote Commissary Policies:

Access Hours: Patrons are authorized to access the NEX and DeCA Orote Commissary in accordance with the base access times promulgated above. Personnel who are already on base due to their jobs and who are authorized DeCA and NEX patrons can shop at any time of the day during the week. For example, if you are a DoD civilian employee and a DoD retiree you are authorized access to the NEX and Commissary throughout the day.

  • 60 Years and Older Operating Hours: On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, from 10-noon for the DeCA Orote Commissary and from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. for the NEX Main Store, people 60 years and older and people with disabilities that require assistance will be authorized exclusive shopping privileges,

  • Purchase Limits:

  • Critical Public Health Supplies: To preserve inventory of critical public health supplies, NEX and DeCA Orote Commissary will limit patrons to two (2) identical items of the following products per family, per day: bleach, cleaning alcohol, disinfectants sprays, hand sanitizer, hand soap, sanitizing wipes, toilet paper, and drinking water.

  • All Products: To ensure equitable distribution of commercial products, NEX and DeCA will limit patrons to one (1) shopping cart per family. Patrons are prohibited from making purchases which are excessive or unreasonably disproportionate in volume. Excessive purchasing of all products will be monitored and enforced. There will be no restock of cleaning/sanitation supplies during the day.

  • Gasoline: NEX will limit gasoline sales to one 1 vehicle and 1 container (no larger than 5 gallons) per day.

  • Social Distancing Practices: While inside NEX and DeCA Orote Commissary facilities, and while waiting to enter these facilities, all patrons must adhere to strict social distancing practices and remain no less than six feet away from all other persons to the greatest extent possible. Signs and floor markers have been placed to aid you in this practice. This policy will be strictly enforced.

  • The number of personnel shopping per family should be minimized to the maximum extent possible.

  • Wherever feasible, it is strongly recommended that children should not accompany shoppers. If children do accompany shoppers, parents must ensure children maximize social distancing and prevent unnecessary interactions with other patrons.

  • Sick Patrons: Patrons who are experiencing flu-like symptoms will not be permitted access to NEX and DeCA facilities. These patrons should stay at home or otherwise isolate themselves and telephonically contact appropriate medical authority.

  • Waiting Line Policy: Patrons should anticipate waiting lines outside NEX and DeCA facilities due to social distancing. Waiting lines for entrance into all NEX and DeCA Orote Commissary facilities are subject to closure forty five (45) minutes prior to regular store closing.

  • Food Establishments: Effective immediately, all food establishments on NBG are take out or drive thru only.

NBG, in consultation with public health authorities, will continue to evaluate and make changes to these policies, as required, to ensure a proper balance between public health and mission readiness. All persons are encouraged to monitor NBG social media for updates.

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