Friends 10-year-old Briana Phillips and 10-year-old Ian Gibson sit on their skateboards as they chat with each other from street April 1 on post. Social distancing — staying at least six feet away from other people — has become standard practice across the country while the world tries to slow the spread of COVID-19, which can be spread by people in close contact. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Proper social distancing in light of COVID-19 was the focus of the Fort Leavenworth Facebook live community update April 1.

“The single most powerful weapon that we have is social distancing,” said Col. Harry Hung, Garrison commander.

Dogs Patches and Poppy stand ready to greet guests but the “no visitors, kids go home, please” message on post resident Susan Chapman’s door gently reminds friends that visiting is currently not an option. Social distancing — staying at least six feet away from other people — has become standard practice across the country while the world tries to slow the spread of COVID-19, which can be spread by people in close contact.

To supplement that statement, Maj. Jamie Seidl, Munson Army Health Center physician, addressed questions on COVID-19 including its symptoms and how its spread.

“Current models have it spreading from respiratory droplets from people in close contact or on shared surfaces,” Seidl said. “That being said, it is important to wash your hands, frequently clean commonly touched surfaces and maintain social distancing…to help prevent the spread of the virus.”

The six-feet rule Fort Leavenworth is endorsing is straight from the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Seidl said. For more information on other recommendations, visit www.cdc.gov.

Activities that include social distancing could be horseback riding or going for a walk. Activities to avoid include organized sports, particularly where a communal object is used.

Hung said it is up to everyone to help stop the spread of the virus.

“Changing our behaviors and actions to this new norm is difficult. In order for us to get through this, we all have to work as a team,” Hung said. “If there are specific issues, we’re going to come make sure we have a good talk and have a good understanding because, if we don’t work on this together, we will all fail.

“All it takes is one person, one dependent, one extended family member or somebody else to break the bubble,” he said. “We’re trying to protect this house, protect this installation and protect this bubble. I can’t do this without everyone’s support.”

Play equipment, like the swings seen here April 1 by Grant Pool, has been taped off to help maintain social distancing, a practice being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing — staying at least six feet away from other people — has become standard practice across the country while the world tries to slow the spread of COVID-19, which can be spread by people in close contact. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

During the April 6 live community update, Hung said in addition to the social distancing regulation, the Department of Defense released a decree recommending the use of cloth face masks when going to public places where social distancing is difficult.

To follow that, on April 8, Fort Leavenworth implemented a face mask policy for patrons entering the Fort Leavenworth Commissary, the Post Exchange, the Shoppette and Munson Army Health Center.

Patrons must provide their own masks. Instructions for making masks from readily available materials can be found on the CDC website.

Hung hosts live community updates on the Fort Leavenworth Facebook page at 5:30 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The page also posts the latest closures and updates daily.

For any nonmedical-related questions about COVID-19, call the Garrison hotline at 684-1776 or the U.S. Army COVID-19 information hotline at 1 (800) 984-8523.

Playgrounds, like this one seen here April 1 by Grant Pool, have been taped off to help maintain social distancing, a practice being implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing — staying at least six feet away from other people — has become standard practice across the country while the world tries to slow the spread of COVID-19, which can be spread by people in close contact. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

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