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Fort Carson soldiers follow stricter guidelines due to COVID-19

FORT CARSON, Colo. (KRDO) -- Fort Carson continues adjusting its services to follow national and statewide regulations in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Since declaring an on-post public health emergency on March 24, there have reportedly been a total of eight confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Fort Carson community.

Col. Brian Wortinger, the Fort Carson Garrison Commander, says many of the soldiers are working from home and are doing daily physical training in isolation or groups of two.

"So we have incremented various procedures along the way to make sure that we’d protect our population as much as possible," Wortinger said. "We’re also still being prepared to serve as our nation’s first responders and do the things that we need to do to be ready to fight if needed.”

The colonel says most of training is for "readiness critical operations," which are those necessary tasks for deployments or tasks that can be done in a soldier's home.

The local Army installation has limited the interactions between soldiers through social distancing and has also allowed restaurants to only offer takeout.

Soldiers who wish to get food on post or enter the department store are questioned on possible symptoms and on their whereabouts during the past 24 hours. Before entering the communal building, several other soldiers will also check the person's temperature to ensure they don't have a fever.

Other services like hair salons have remained opened with stylists wearing personal protective equipment during services.

“We do operate under separate rule in the state of Colorado because we are under exclusive federal jurisdiction," he said. "But we try to work in very close conjunction and always keep in mind what the governor and the city are doing.”

Although the coronavirus has disrupted the day-to-day lives of Americans, the colonel says there's still need for defense nationwide.

“We make a decision on ‘Do we perform a particular piece of training or do we keep soldiers at home?'" Wortinger said. "And we know that every day that we are not training, we’re eating away at that readiness. So those are the tough decisions that we make every day.”

For a complete list of the changes at Fort Carson in response to COVID-19, visit the military base website.

Colorado Springs / Local News / Military

Zachary Aedo

Zach is a reporter for KRDO and Telemundo Surco. Learn more about Zach here.