Defense Logistics Agency works to protect essential staff at Susquehanna distribution center

Carlisle/West Shore

NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. (WHTM) — Many Defense Logistics Agency Distribution employees designated as mission essential in their role of resupplying the military and other government agencies continue to report to work at Defense Distribution Center Susquehanna and Naval Support Activity Mechanicsburg.

Defense Logistics Agency Distribution leaders are taking measures to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workspace.

The workers’ mission essential designation is tied to the Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, which specifies personnel working at government-owned facilities who “provide materials and services to the Department of Defense, including support for weapon systems.”

Non-mission essential employees who are at a higher risk to COVID-19 complications are being granted leave. However, some still may need to continue to work, depending on the local work area mission.

For employees who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act authorizes employees paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. All DLA civilian employees are covered by the emergency paid sick leave provision in the FFCRA. This provision provides up to 80 hours of paid sick leave where an employee is unable to work.

With regard to Personal Protective Equipment, the Secretary of Defense is requiring, to the extent practical, all individuals on Department of Defense property, installations, and facilities to wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers. This applies to military personnel, DOD civilian employees, family members, DOD contractors and any other individuals visiting DOD property, installations or facilities.

DLA personnel who are required to physically report to DLA worksites and whose duties do not allow them to maintain the six-foot social distancing should wear appropriate face coverings while at the worksite. DLA is procuring face coverings for employees. Medical personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators or surgical masks will not be issued as these will be reserved for the medical personnel. The DOD guidance does not mandate the wearing of masks at all times; rather, it mandates the use of face coverings when personnel are not able to maintain the six feet social distancing requirements. Given the lead time to procure face coverings, DLA employees are permitted and encouraged to bring and wear “homemade” cloth face coverings while at DLA worksites.

The command is providing updates to all employees multiple times each week to ensure everyone is aware of these steps to safeguard the workforce while continuing to execute their critically important mission.

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