By Scott Prater | Mountaineer staff
FORT CARSON, Colo. — As positive case rates continue to decline and vaccines become more widely available, Army leaders announced March 10, 2021, that the Mountain Post is gearing up for a traditional spring and summer. During a virtual town hall update, Maj. Gen. Matthew W. McFarlane, commanding general, 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, joined Command Sgt. Maj. Adam Nash, senior enlisted leader, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson, in delivering some positive news.
“Nationally, we are continuing to see a decline in case rates and deaths,” McFarlane said as he began the town hall with an update on the latest COVID-19 pandemic statistics. “The previous seven-day average across the nation for new cases has been around 58,000. This is a significant drop from earlier in our winter months, when we were averaging 230,000 new cases a day. El Paso County cases are also beginning to plateau along with cases here on Fort Carson.”
While addressing the vaccines topic, Nash provided an update about their availability on post. He said national projections indicate suppliers will have enough vaccines to inoculate all American adults by the end of May 2021.
In the meantime, he announced that the Fort Carson Vaccination Site at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center has implemented a new direct COVID-19 vaccine appointment scheduling line.
“Anyone notified of eligibility to receive the vaccine can book an appointment by calling the Colorado Military Health System Access to Care line at 719-526-2273,” Nash said. “But now community members have a second option by calling the vaccination site directly at 719-503-0820, Monday through Friday from 1 to 4 p.m.”
Declining case rates have also prompted Evans Army Community Hospital (EACH) to reduce some of its COVID-19 restrictions, specifically, with its visitation policy. Patients at the hospital are now allowed two visitors at one time during their stay, though emergency-department patients are still limited to one visitor at a time during their stay.
As EACH relaxes restrictions, many other organizations on post have followed suit. The commanding general and senior enlisted leader announced a slew of returning services and events. McFarlane said on-post child development centers will resume normal operations March 22, 2021, while Child and Youth Services (CYS) will begin signing up new enrollees March 29, 2021. Parents are asked to contact Parent Central Services to review and update their registration file prior to their child’s return date.
Nash said CYS will also start up youth sports and fitness programs beginning in April and will offer various sport clinics as well. Meanwhile, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (DFMWR) has reopened the post’s intramural sports programs for DOD ID card holders. Interested athletes can contact intramural sports at 526-7585 for more information.
Signaling that summer 2021 may look much different on post than summer 2020, McFarlane revealed that leaders are also looking at conducting Ivy Week activities from June 28 to July 2, culminating with Freedom Fest at Iron Horse Park.
“All events will be outdoors,” he said. “Soldier units will compete in softball, ultimate frisbee, an obstacle course, a pistol competition and more. We’ll start the week with a division run on Monday morning and end it with fireworks at Iron Horse park on Friday evening. So, get out there and train up with your teammates.”