Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune hosted a Table Top Exercise (TTX) at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center on MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, on Oct. 7, 2020. Officials from local military installations, DoDEA schools, Camp Lejeune Naval Medical Center, as well as, Onslow, Pender and Craven County schools, gathered, while practicing social distancing, to discuss COVID-19 mitigation measures and best practices within the schools.
“The schools, both on and off base, play a role in operational readiness,” said Col. Sarah Q. Fullwood, Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. “It is important that we take time to share and assess the effectiveness of health safety protocols put into place to protect students”
The exercise worked through various scenarios highlighting requirements across areas such as quarantine measures, infection control, transportation, notification, closure, cleaning and communication. One specific focus was determining what, if any, additional resources might be needed if specific scenarios became reality.
The scenarios ranged from single cases with no close contacts to multiple positive cases with a wide reaching amount of close contacts. These scenarios drove lengthy discussions on steps and procedures that different schools have planned for or dealt with in the past. Each scenario allowed experts from across the local community to share their experiences and lessons learned with the group. The exercise also sought to identify any possible interpretation variables between schools in regards to Center for Disease Control, North Carolina, and DoDEA COVID-19 policy.
“It’s always great when we have a chance to enhance the partnership with our neighboring community,” Fullwood said. “We all have the same goal of ensuring safe positive educational opportunities for students and a safe working environment for working staff members. Exercises like this are a great tool for this type of collaboration.”
DoDEA schools on MCB Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River, and MCAS Beaufort are all operating successfully in person five days per week for all grade levels. Surrounding community schools continue to operate on a hybrid model with a combination of in person and remote enrollment. MCB Camp Lejeune, MCAS New River, DoDEA and Onslow County continue to collaborate on COVID-19 best practices and consistency in policy. Onslow County will reopen five days per week for elementary schools beginning Nov. 30, 2020.