NEWS | March 26, 2020

Navy Base in Japan Works to Keep COVID-19 at Bay

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyler Fraser Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka Public Affairs

YOKOSUKA, Japan -- To help stop the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), Commander, Fleet Activities Yokosuka (CFAY) has implemented a broad scope of health protection measures to help keep the disease at bay.

In meeting this challenge, CFAY is also introducing a number of novel methods to deliver base services that promote social distancing for patrons and service providers alike. As of March 26, 2020, several members of the CFAY community, including those from tenant commands, have been tested for the virus, but none of the cases have shown to be positive for COVID-19.

“As this pandemic unfolds, we recognize the importance of maintaining fleet essential services – security, port operations, emergency management while applying measures to protect the health of our warfighters and families,” said Capt. Rich Jarrett, CFAY’s commanding officer. “We also recognize our efforts to thwart COVID-19 as a team effort, and we cannot succeed in these efforts without the support of our host nation allies in Japan.”

Since February, CFAY has set into motion several measures to decrease the likelihood for disease transmission to those who work and live on CFAY.

These measures include no-touch visual review of identification cards for those coming onto the base, implementing health screening protocols at entry points for pedestrians and vehicles, instructing the community on proper cleanliness procedures through internal and external communication avenues, and holding meetings via video teleconferencing (VTC) or simply teleconferencing to reinforce social distancing.

One of the most important measures has been taken at all major high-traffic areas on the base to include restaurants, movie theaters, Navy Exchange and the commissary.

In these areas, social distancing stickers have been place on the floors showing individuals where they need to stand to ensure they are at a safe distance from the next customer, seating in the movie theaters requiring at least three seats between individuals or families and others in the theater, former seating areas in food courts have been cordoned off with pick up food services only, and any buffets that were being offered on the base have been replaced by menu items only.

Even with restrictive measures in place, CFAY has continued to deliver services to the Fleet and community. The CFAY Chapel of Hope, the Navy’s largest installation religious program, continues to minister to the community via online services. While fitness centers have restricted some programs to active duty patrons, only, group fitness classes are now being delivered to audiences via Facebook Live. Additionally, the Japan Area Orientation Brief is being presented by online webinar to newly arriving Sailors and families who are assigned to a 14-day COVID-19 quarantine in the Navy Lodge.

“It is fundamentally important that we protect our people and maintain mission readiness, but equally essential that we continue to support the community with an array of services that they have come to expect from Fleet Activities Yokosuka,” Jarrett added. “We are adapting our service delivery models to meet this challenge.”

For 75 years, CFAY has provided, maintained, and operated base facilities and services in support of the U.S. 7th Fleet's forward-deployed naval forces, tenant commands, and thousands of military and civilian personnel and their families.