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Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) now requiring patrons, employees to wear face coverings at its stores worldwide

FORT LEE, Va. -- Commissaries worldwide are requiring some form of face covering for store employees and customers to enter a commissary.

DeCA’s guidance is effective Friday, April 10. Commissary patrons must wear some form of face covering such as masks, scarfs, bandannas, clean t-shirts, or cloths to cover the nose and mouth.

The guidance falls in line with April 5 Department of Defense guidance mandating “to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain 6 feet of social distance in public areas or work centers."

The commissary agency is purchasing masks and gloves through the commercial supply system that will be made available to employees.

In addition to requiring face coverings for employees and customers, commissaries have implemented the following operational policies to help make stores safer during this pandemic:

* Commissaries are installing clear, acrylic sneeze shields in all regular checkout lanes to add extra protection for customers and cashiers.

* Commissary personnel are wiping down checkout areas, product display cases, restrooms and shopping carts with disinfectant, and practicing routine hand washing and other basic sanitation measures to reduce transmission risk.

* Hand sanitizer is provided at each register and staff are encouraged to use it at the end of each patron transaction.

* DeCA encourages its employees to closely monitor their health, and asks them to stay home if they, or someone in their household, are sick.

* Stores are working with their installations to implement procedures regarding social distancing.

* A "no visitors" policy was instituted to reduce the number of people in the stores.

* Early bird hours were suspended to allow stores more time to clean and restock the store.

* Patrons cannot bring reusable bags into the commissary to help reduce the risk of virus.

* Cashiers no longer handle patron ID cards. Instead, customers will be asked to scan their own ID or cashiers can use the handheld scanner if available.

* DeCA encourages the use of credit or debit transactions to limit the use of cash and coins.

* Local commissaries work closely with the public health assets on the installation to monitor transmission risk related to staff and patrons.

* Commissaries have temporarily suspended the requirement to sign credit card receipts to prevent multi patron handling of the credit card reader pen.

Hill AFB Commissary is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website for a fact sheet regarding face coverings.

For up to date information as it applies to Hill AFB, visit www.hill.af.mil/coronvavirus.