March 10, 2021
FRAGORD 15 to OPORD 2020-19 (USACE Operations in a COVID-19 Environment) Annex I - Mask Wearing and COVID protection for the Recreating Public
Yesterday afternoon CE-UOC released FRAGORD 15 to OPORD 2020-19 (USACE Operations in a COVID-19 Environment) that includes Annex I - Mask Wearing and COVID protection for the Recreating Public. We have presented this information as part of our trainings and discussions over the last few weeks. Please read the full Annex but below are some focus areas, highlights and resources:
1. Champion the effort to fight COVID by thorough public messaging in accordance with the EO and CDC guidance. Maximize use of news releases, social media, and local media to inform the public of masking and social distancing requirements and to inform the public when areas have reached capacity to reduce overcrowding. Resources for public notice can be found at https://corpslakes.erdc. dren.mil/covid19/index.cfm. Two public service announcements are available for Corps-wide use and will be posted to this site as well. HQUSACE will be requesting submittals from MSCs on another round of CARES ACT funding that could be used for COVID related signs and needs for upcoming recreation seasons. Please start thinking of those needs. The requests and submittals will be coordinated through MSC Operations Chiefs.
2. Be leaders in understanding and directing the standards of the CDC for public safety and mask wearing in support of the EO: Masks must be worn in accordance with the CDC guidelines by all persons present on USACE property. Masks must be worn consistently at all locations, including outdoor shared spaces when social distancing cannot be maintained. Include mask wearing, social distancing, and capacity limits in Special Event permit conditions and when permitting other gatherings. Communicate the intent and standard of this EO to your concessions and other entities where we outgrant public use. Add the annex by attachment to your reopening and COVID response plans and review it with your staffs.
3. Model the behavior at all levels and in the public eye. Ensure all employees, contractors, volunteers, and gate attendants are wearing masks and social distancing. Replace photos on social media and websites to include proper mask wearing and social distancing.
4. Achieve public participation through application of Visitor Assistance procedures. Promote education, awareness, and encouragement as the primary strategies used to gain compliance. Signage, posters, social media, interpretive programs, and socially distanced public contacts will be used to convey mask wearing and social distancing requirements. Under no circumstances should USACE personnel risk their personal safety. HQUSACE NRM program is working with HQ counsel on appropriate language for posting title 36 in reference to CDC guidelines and we will forward when approved.
The warmer weather this week reminds us that our peak seasons are quickly approaching and we should already be planning for another higher than normal visitation and related challenges. In addition to following the basic guidelines above for direction under the Executive Order, please be proactive in planning for larger crowds and evaluating where issues may arise based on last years experiences. Continue to use social media to alert the public when overcrowding may be occurring and how they can assist in preventing areas from being impacted or even closed. Review and if necessary modify contracts for cleaning, refuse collection and law enforcement to be responsive to expected challenges. Shift partner and volunteer efforts where possible to help with impacts on overcrowding and trash.
Please extend my appreciation to the entire operations and natural resources communities. You have responded as a world class workforce. We will need all of you again this year!
Jeffrey F. Krause
Chief, Natural Resources Management
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