RAPID CITY, S.D. — Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and the Minneapolis St. Paul Air Reserve Base in Minnesota are among nine U.S. Air Force bases in the world that have been categorized as a “red” installation due to the rise of active COVID-19 cases in areas surrounding the bases.
The red categorization means any civilian or service member would have to meet specific requirements or have an approved waiver to either leave the bases for another military installation or arrive for duty, according the U.S. Department of Defense.
Department officials won’t comment on the number of coronavirus cases on bases.
Elmendorf decided to go beyond Anchorage's restrictions on alcohol-serving establishments as a precaution.
According to Ellsworth’s protocols, off-base gyms and fitness centers are off-limits and base personnel are prohibited from dining at restaurants or going to bars, clubs, casinos, breweries, concerts, festivals or anywhere with a large crowd.
Ellsworth requires all personnel to wear face masks on base and when going into any off-base retail establishment.
There have been 9,313 uniformed Department of the Air Force personnel who have contracted the coronavirus so far.
The other installations under the red category include Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico, Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, Kadena Air Base in Japan, Misawa Air Base in Japan, Ramstein Air Base in Germany and Yokata Air Base in Japan.