Published March 23, 2020
Base officials have coordinated with the Defense Commissary Agency to adjust the hours of service at the Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., commissary to ensure access to basic necessities for mission essential personnel, and have also announced that issuance of visitor passes to access the installation will be suspended March 23, 2020. All currently valid visitor passes will expire on March 25. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Quentin Marx)
Base officials have coordinated with the Defense Commissary Agency to adjust the hours of service at the Ellsworth commissary to ensure access to basic necessities for mission essential personnel, and have also announced that issuance of visitor passes to access the installation will be suspended. All currently valid visitor passes will expire on March 25.
Until further notice, the first two hours of operations each day at the base commissary will be for active-duty members and their families. After the first two hours, the commissary will open to all other individuals authorized to shop at the store. The store will continue to ration high turnover items.
To further reduce traffic and the number of visitors onto the installation, and to combat the spread of COVID-19, effective immediately the base will not issue visitor passes without an exception to policy letter. Exceptions to the policy must be routed through an Airman’s squadron commander for approval. Reasons that will merit strong consideration for an exception to policy include requests for childcare or new baby assistance; college students who are home and do not have an ID; and other humanitarian or hardship issues. The change will not impact contractors or deliveries at this time.
“These are part of our proactive measures to ensure the safety and welfare of our Airmen, their families, and the entire community, all-the-while making sure we remain capable of accomplishing our mission of providing combat power – anytime, anywhere,” said Col. David Doss, 28th Bomb Wing commander. “Our first priority is the health and well-being of our team and our community. These measures help us do that.”
As of March 22, Ellsworth is in Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Alpha+. HPCON A is determined when there is a limited threat to personnel based on the existence of a disease, or unusual human health threat that has the potential to rapidly move into the local area. The base continues to test its members who meet criteria, and work with local health care providers to ensure it has the most updated information and access to care for all Airmen, their families and those who rely on Ellsworth for their health care needs.