Fort Carson declares public health emergency

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FORT CARSON, Colo. (KKTV) - Fort Carson's commander has declared a public health emergency for the post, effective at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The declaration gives the commander more authority to make changes to services and take other protective measures. Fort Carson is still working out what that will look like.

The public health emergency declaration is separate from Monday's upgrade in health protection level. Health Protection Condition Charlie (HPCON-C), the second-highest protection level, allows the post to "implement proactive health risk mitigation measures for its personnel."

Under HPCON-C, only mission-critical personnel will be required to go on duty, in order to have as few people on duty on post as possible. Units will only execute missions that support emergency operations, emergency maintenance, medical operations, and deployment operations as necessary.

"This action is intended to limit the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, while maintaining mission readiness. As the nation's first responders, Fort Carson serves a unique role and must continue to be ready to respond to a crisis at a moment's notice. We must continue to prepare as the nation's first line of defense. Commanders at every level will take prudent measures to limit the risk of exposure within their formations," Fort Carson said in a statement Monday.

The status elevation went into effect at 9 a.m. Monday.

The following services are canceled/closed on Fort Carson until further notice:

- School physicals
- Routine readiness exams (including hearing and dental)
- Training events (except those defined as "readiness critical")
- Part-time daycare
- Fort Carson Golf Course
- Cheyenne Mountain Shooting Complex

The following will be by appointment only:
- In-and-out processing
- Central Issue Facility
- Soldier For Life Transition Assistance Program
- Soldier Readiness Processing

The following have limited access:
- School-age childcare is reduced to Aspen
- Day care is reduced to Ivy and East Centers. Available slots will be reserved for readiness critical personnel only.
- Hourly childcare for medical appointments is available on a limited basis.
- The AAFES Post Exchange and the Fort Carson Commissary will continue to offer a high-risk-only timeframe and an active duty timeframe.
- Retirees will have limited access to the post exchange and commissary only during high-risk hours. Please see the fact sheet on carson.army.mil for information on access times.
- Personnel will direct and observe patrons to wash their hands before entering common facilities including the post exchange and commissary as well as in unit areas.
- Physical training will be done individually and confirmed by chains of command.

All gates currently remain open, but Fort Carson says gates two, five, six and 19 may close in the future.

Those entering the post or entering Evans Army Community Hospital will be medically pre-screened with a questionnaire.

So far, a Colorado National Guard soldier and a civilian health care worker at Fort Carson have tested positive for the virus.