NEWS | April 16, 2020

Fort Greely Commissary Adapts to COVID-19 Environment

By Angela J. Glass

FORT GREELY, Alaska -- While much of the Fort Greely installation workforce has been advised to telework during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the professionals who work at the Fort Greely Commissary are reporting to work daily to provide a mission essential service to the community – even if that means drastically changing business practices to combat the potential spread of the virus.

In a recent release by the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), Interim Director Robert Bianchi informed customers on the numerous changes that were implemented to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“We are following the highest standards of the Department of Defense’s health protection in our stores, which includes wiping down checkout areas, restrooms and shopping carts, routine hand washing and other basic sanitation measures to avoid spreading germs,” said Bianchi.

Above and beyond DeCA guidance, the Fort Greely Commissary has taken additional measures by installing a Plexiglas barrier that provides additional protection for employees and patrons, offering freshly sanitized shopping carts and implementing a new entry/exit strategy that provides additional social distancing opportunities for patrons. Additionally, the commissary has restricted the number of guests in the store at a given time, they have implemented priority shopping times for select shopping groups offering a safer shopping experience and they now accept credit card payments made by phone to better serve customers.

“Employees are doing everything in their power to keep not only customers, but themselves protected; they remain committed to providing superb service that patrons have come to expect,” said the Fort Greely Commissary Director, Ed Preston. “My team has pulled off the impossible, day after day. Providing this benefit with this type of volume in a remote, isolated and logistically challenged location is nothing short of legendary.”

According to the Fort Greely Garrison Commander, Lt. Col. Joel Johnson, “the commissary is one of the few places on post where social distancing can be challenging, however Ed and his outstanding team continue to provide an essential service for the community while implementing safety guidelines to ensure a safer shopping experience for all.”