Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton has seen a variety of changes over the past few weeks in response to COVID-19. The installation has always put the health and well-being of all personnel and their families as its top priority, which is why each change has been carefully and quickly made to adapt to the surrounding environment while continuing to provide critical services key to mission success.
Camp Pendleton continues to employ and stress responsible social distancing practices of six feet or more. The base has also issued guidance in line with MARADMIN 218/20 on the proper use of cloth face coverings, which must be worn to gain entrance into and use of several base facilities such as the Marine Corps Exchange, Marine Marts, commissaries, dining facilities, and barber shops.
MCIWEST-MCB CAMPEN Order 1050 addresses leave and liberty guidelines Marines aboard Camp Pendleton and the region must follow. This order underscores CA Executive Order N-33-20, which directs all individuals to remain at home or place of residence, except as needed in limited circumstances.
Order 1050 states CA Executive Order N-33-20 does not restrict federal employees from conducting mission essential activities, therefore all MCIWEST personnel will continue to report to duty as directed. However, personnel residing in California, not in a duty status, must adhere to N-33-20. This is to ensure Camp Pendleton continues to support all of its residents and personnel.
For those coming on base and not teleworking, entering base is slightly different than it was before. Base security personnel are wearing gloves while conducting 100% ID checks at the gates and are no longer physically touching ID cards.
“Our mission has not changed, and how we operate has not changed as well,” said Jonathan Gibbs, a civilian police officer with the Provost Marshal’s Office. “What has changed is the proper gear we wear to handle situations.”
Paramedics and firefighters are also taking precautions to handle situations with people who possibly have COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms by wearing N95 surgical masks, goggles and gowns.
Those shopping at the base commissary are also subject to 100% ID card checks, and special hours are granted to specified groups before regular shopping hours. Notably, pregnant women and Exceptional Family Member Program families have access Tuesday mornings from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. with Seniors age 60 and above having early access on Thursday at the same designated times. Special commissary hours have been implemented to minimize large groups of people within the commissary. Social distancing is taken seriously with tape marking stopping points for checkout lines ensuring six feet distance between shoppers.
The mess halls aboard the installation have removed self-serve options, and all employees are donning masks and gloves. Employees are dispensing reusable forks, knives, spoons, etc. There has been an increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing tables, chairs, restrooms, and major contact points such as door handles, card readers, and handrails. All mess halls are equipped with hand washing stations outside entryways, with informational posters providing an emphasis on washing hands for at least 20 seconds. Normal serving hours continue and the mess halls are prepared to extend those hours as needed to ensure Marines and Sailors are properly fed.
Base restaurants have transitioned to take-out only and fitness facilities have closed. Individual commands have been guided to have only mission essential personnel continue to work while teleworking as much as possible.
Camp Pendleton is not under complete lockdown with mission essential personnel continuing to report to work ensuring Camp Pendleton continues supporting Marines, sailors, employees, families, and veterans aboard the base, all while safely and responsibly mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
By working together, everyone can help flatten the curve of COVID-19.