Fort Riley issued a statement about its COVID-19 response and updated its general COVID-19 order via social media late this week, indicating a shift from being on the defensive against the virus to being on the offensive.

"In 2020, we fought the virus on the defense—the wear of face coverings, physical distancing, sanitation, and travel and occupancy restrictions helped quell the spread,” the post read. "While we must continue to apply defensive measures, for the first time we are attacking!”

In the update, Fort Riley officials indicated that all of its volunteer first responders and its emergency medical personnel had received the new COVID-19 vaccines and were inoculated against the virus.

Though the vaccines have begun being distributed on Fort Riley and in the Geary County community as a whole, people are still encouraged to take measures to protect themselves against COVID-19 in the home stretch. While the vaccines are here and there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is still a danger from the virus and more work to do in stopping its spread through both military and civilian communities.

“As expected, we are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases,” the post read.

However, the spread can be stopped by avoiding non-essential trips outside the home, avoiding contact with people who aren’t immediate family, wearing proper face coverings, adhering to social distancing and engaging in good hand hygiene.

Fort Riley’s COVID-19 order now bans social gatherings and visitations within any housing on post. Service members are banned from having or attending social gatherings inside any home or barracks anywhere — on or off post.

These prohibitions apply to gatherings such as parties, dinners, social clubs, meetings, social visits, and the like.

Soldiers may still have visits with immediate family members and attend to duty-related activities, childcare, tutoring, welfare checks, providing care for an individual or pet, repair or cleaning services, and similar nonsocial activities.

If a soldier is engaged in one of these authorized activities, they must maintain social distance — six feet apart from those around them — wear appropriate face coverings when social distancing is not possible, and practice appropriate hand hygiene.

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