Family members can pick up their Soldier from Fort Jackson after graduation if they’re on a split option contract and live within 210 miles of Fort Jackson, Fort Jackson’s commander announced during a virtual town hall Aug. 13. That distance is how far a permanent party Soldier can go if they leave the installation.“If you are within that, South Carolina for the most part, a little bit of Georgia and North Carolina … and have a split option Soldier that has graduated you can come and pick them up,” said Brig. Gen. Milford H. “Beags” Beagle.Family members must contact the unit so the pickup can be arranged outside of the installation because they are not allowed on post. He also reiterated that Family members are not allowed on post to visit their trainees even if they have a Department of Defense ID card, as it is a violation of General Order #2.The announcement was made during the latest Commanding General’s Virtual Town Hall on Special Topics.The town halls are a way the post can ensure its community and extended Family have all the facts. “The thing we don’t want to do is spread fear … or misinformation,” Beagle said. “This is our attempt to give you the clearest and most fact-based information we have.”When we talked a few weeks ago “there wasn’t a lot of things that changed, but now there are a lot of things that have changed,” Beagle said.Things that have changed for permanent party service members are:- Starting Aug. 30, all Army personnel and Family members must test negative and isolate 14 days prior to travel outside the United States- The isolation prior to travel is not chargeable leave- Any positive tests within 90 days of official travel require medical documentation to permit travel“That is consistent with fairly new Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance. We are no longer finding validity or reason to test people within 90 days if they are positive anyway,” said Col. Jeremiah Stubbs, interim Public Health Emergency Officer at Moncrief Army Health Clinic. “So you are better off doing other things such as a medical assessment or a quarantine or restriction of movement” instead of continued testing.Stubbs, along with Fort Jackson media relations officer Leslie Ann “LA” Sully and LaTrice Langston, social media manager, accompanied Beagle on the panel.Other changes announced includes extending the Public Health Emergency for another 90 days and that masks must be worn inside all Fort Jackson facilities. It was also noted that General Order #2 doesn’t just affect those working and living on post, but those visiting the installation as well.Stubbs also reiterated that masks with valves are not helping fight COVID.“That is not serving the purpose for why we are wearing a mask,” he said. “It affords some protection for the individual wearing the mask, but the problem is that valve, which is a one way valve, allows for the exhaustion of viruses and whatever else of the individual wearing it.”“They look cool but they don’t serve the purpose,” Beagle added.In the next 14 days community members can expect the Department of Defense Educational Activity schools to open Aug 24, and Richland School Districts 1 and 2 start Aug. 31.If you have questions about it you can “go back and watch the video” on the Fort Jackson Facebook page, Langston added.Also covered in the town hall was a “bullseye” of questions illustrating what questions are more than others. On the inside of the bullseye are questions about COVID-19, trainee food, mail and telephones. The next tier includes questions about Family Day, Split Ops enlistments, post access and Basic Combat Training Graduation. The outside ring of the target includes questions about Victory Block Leave, travel to follow on duty stations, leave and “smoke.”Trainees eat well every day, Beagle said answering one of the main questions asked on the post’s social media platforms. “They may not get what they want to eat, they might not eat it when they want to eat it, but they do eat very, very well.”Families can visit Fort Jackson social media pages to see how trainees eat.Among other things Beagle addressed was trainees making phone calls.“Phones are a privilege and not aright when they come to basic training,” Beagle said. “Before they came to basic training anywhere they go it was a right, but when they come into training a phone is a privilege.”If a trainee tests positive they will get their phones, if they are injured in any way they will get their phones, especially if they have to be evacuated to an off-post medical facility.To hear more of what was said during the town hall watch the video at: https://www.facebook.com/fortjackson/videos/606418146914855/(Editor’s note: The next CG’s Virtual Town Hall on Special Topics will be streamed live on Facebook Aug. 27 at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.)