Korinna Inman, 86th Force Support Squadron formal training manager, holds a pair of headphones used at the testing center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 12, 2020. Inman is responsible for enforcing COVID-19 restrictions in the testing center. Putting an external layer on the headphones allows them to be changed out between users.
Korinna Inman, 86th Force Support Squadron formal training manager, holds a pair of headphones used at the testing center at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Nov. 12, 2020. Inman is responsible for enforcing COVID-19 restrictions in the testing center. Putting an external layer on the headphones allows them to be changed out between users. (Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman John Wright) VIEW ORIGINAL

WASHINGTON -- Commissaries are adding digital contactless thermometers and children's reusable masks to store inventories, the Defense Commissary Agency's director of sales announced.

These additions, along with new lines of adult disposable masks and several sizes of hand sanitizers, first became available in stateside stores in late September. Shipments of thermometers to stores in Europe and the Pacific are expected by late November, Tracie Russ, the agency's sales director, said. The new products join existing brands of personal protective gear that commissaries have been selling since June.

"By having protective masks, thermometers and other items available for purchase in our commissaries, we are doing our best to help our customers reduce exposure to COVID-19," Russ said. "We also want our customers to know that commissaries adhere to the highest standards of DOD health protection."

The following brands and types of products are being added for purchase in commissaries:

  • NuvoMed products
  • Digital contactless thermometer
  • KN95 respiratory disposable face mask, 1-count, white, fully sealed
  • Disposable, 3-ply face mask, 10-count, blue, 
  • Hand sanitizer gel in 2-, 3.4- and 16.9-fluid ounce sizes 
  • Hanes: Children's 5-pack reusable and washable 3-ply face masks available in white, black and grey 

Since the start of the outbreak, most retail stores have experienced a run on anything resembling PPE.

"We're excited to add the digital contactless thermometers and children's masks to our inventory," LaRue Smith, a category manager, said. "If we can save our customers an extra shopping trip and offer the PPE they need at lower prices, we are enhancing their commissary benefit."

Commissaries are adding digital contactless thermometers and children’s reusable masks to store inventories.
Commissaries are adding digital contactless thermometers and children’s reusable masks to store inventories. (Photo Credit: Courtesy photo, Defense Commissary Agency) VIEW ORIGINAL

"As always, we ask our customers to limit their purchase to only what they will need so that the supply will be available for all of our customers," Smith said.

Commissaries began selling the following PPE in June:

  • Hanes: 10-pack, reusable, adult size, 3-ply 100-percent cotton, washable up to 20 times
  • Midwest Trading: KN95 1-pack disposable mask and a 10-pack, 4-ply mask, fit adjustable, inner layer contains air filter
  • Puna Noni: (available only in Hawaii commissaries), reusable, 3-ply cotton/poly shell, removable felt filter

Since April 6, 2020, commissaries have required some form of face covering for its store employees to comply with the Defense Department's directive mandating that standard for anyone entering military facilities.

By April 10, commissaries expanded the face covering requirement to include customers or anyone else entering a commissary. The DeCA guidance does not supersede the existing installation policies. It applies to all agency stores and other facilities worldwide where no local directive has yet been issued.

Customers should continue to refer to DeCA's coronavirus page for updates related to commissaries. For overall updates and guidance regarding this virus, they are encouraged to access the following websites: the federal government's response to COVID-19 and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Coronavirus site.

Related Links

Army.mil: Worldwide News

U.S. Army COVID-19 Guidance

Defense.gov