Feature   Defense News

Commissaries Add Thermometers, Children's Disposable Protective Masks

Nov. 24, 2020 | BY Kevin Robinson , Defense Commissary Agency

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.

Headphones are combined with personal protective equipment.
Testing Center
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.
Photo By: Air Force Senior Airman John Wright
VIRIN: 201112-F-KY598-1043M

"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."

Two hand-held thermometers are shown.
Temp Check
Commissaries are adding digital contactless thermometers and children’s reusable masks to store inventories.
Photo By: Courtesy photo, Defense Commissary Agency
VIRIN: 201123-O-ZZ999-001M

"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.