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Fort Jackson working to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Fort Jackson's Commanding General says they want to make sure they do everything they can to stop the spread of coronavirus on base.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Fort Jackson Commanding General spoke with News 19 Friday about the procedures in place to make sure they limit the spread of COVID-19.

The U.S. Army has stopped shipping recruits to Army posts, like Fort Jackson, from April 8-19. 

Brigadier General Milford Beagle, Jr. says they need to make sure it is safe to send soldiers to their advanced training locations, before adding new recruits.

"The key thing we are trying to make sure as we do these shipping operations, we're not furthering the spread of COVID-19," says Brig. Gen. Beagle.

So far, they have shipped of 2,000 soldiers to their next locations. 

They have also started new safety measures, including social distancing and wearing masks.

"The mask, there was a directive from the Secretary of the Army that required everyone to wear a mask to the extent possible," says Brig. Gen. Beagle. "It was to the extent you could not obtain a 6ft bubble."

They are also allowing seamstresses on post, who would normally be making uniforms, to make masks.

As far as graduations, those are still being streamed on Fort Jackson's Facebook page. Families can also send gift cards to their soldiers. 

"The soldier gets to pick it up, we get a picture of them with their card and that gets sent back to the family," says Brig. Gen. Beagle." It's just their way of allowing them to do something."

The Commanding General says they want to make sure they do everything they can to stop the spread.

"Here at Fort Jackson we just want to do our part. We do a great service to our nation an now we need to do a great service to our community as well and be good partners in that sense and not cause any additional burdens on the community."

As far as cases, the Department of Defense is not allowing Fort Jackson to give their individual numbers out to the public, but they do report cases to DHEC.