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Masks required at some military installations following new CDC guidelines

Masks are mandated at military bases found in areas that have substantial or high COVID-19 transmission rates, even if the person is vaccinated.

HAMPTON, Va. — The Department of Defense is saying new mask requirements are being put in place at many of its military installations.

"In areas of substantial or high community transmission, DOD requires all service members, federal employees, onsite contractor employees and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in an indoor setting in installations and other facilities owned, leased or otherwise controlled by DOD," Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen H. Hicks said in a memorandum.

The masks are required, even if the person is vaccinated. The mandate is effective immediately.

It comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance recommending people wear masks in indoor public places in parts of the country that have seen at least 50 new cases per 100,000 people in the last week. That includes 60 percent of U.S. counties, officials said.

The CDC said to look at its county-by-county online data tracker to see where COVID-19 is surging. In the color-coded map, orange reflects substantial community transmission and red indicates high transmission. 

RELATED: Updated CDC guidance: Where are masks indoors recommended again?

On Wednesday evening, Joint Base Langley-Eustis posted a reminder on its Facebook page, saying the military installation is in an area of "high" transmission.

"Please continue to remain vigilant, stay healthy and I encourage all JBLE teammates to get vaccinated!" said Installation Commander Col. Greg Beaulieu.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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