FORT BLISS, Texas -- U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Sean Bernabe, the Fort Bliss commander, told a virtual town hall Thursday evening that "our number one message tonight is 'we must vaccinate Ft. Bliss.'"
He said only 23 percent of the Fort Bliss community is currently vaccinated -- that's out of 105,000 soldiers, civilians, dependents, retirees and contractors.
"I think the one restriction most people are most concerned about is 'When can I eat in a restaurant off post?' When we hit 50 percent of this community vaccinated is when I will lift the restrictions on being able to eat at a restaurant off post," Bernabe said.
He also set another milestone: The next adjustment to restrictions will be when 33 percent of the post community is vaccinated. At that time, the limit on the number of people who can be at someone's house will go from 10 to 20. The commander said they're talking about opening hourly daycare, opening swimming pools at 50 percent capacity and expanding open seating to 75 percent at restaurants on post.
New soldiers arriving at Fort Bliss are going to be vaccinated as part of in-processing, he explained.
People on post are not signing up to get the vaccine, Bernabe said. From April 14 to April 20, he said 84 percent of appointments were unfilled.
"We have capacity, we have the ability to vaccinate so many people every day," he said, encouraging everyone to get the word out that there is capacity now to meet the goal.