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Photo: Getty Images

The commanding general of Fort Rucker has announced that the Alabama military base will require service members not wearing face masks "to show proof of vaccination" while on duty to combat rising COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: The order, issued Wednesday, makes Fort Rucker the "first military base in the continental" U.S. to permit leaders to "check the vaccination status of those in uniform," the Washington Post notes.

Details: Maj. Gen. David Francis said in a video that due to "the rising rates in the counties around us and some on Fort Rucker," leaders were implementing the guidance.

  • "[I]f you are not wearing a mask, the leadership will be able to ask you, ask soldiers, to prove that they’ve been vaccinated by showing their vaccination card," Francis said.

Yes, but: The order does not apply to civilians, who "must be taken at their word unless the supervisor has good reason not to," according to the guidance.

The big picture: There's been an uptick in coronavirus cases across the U.S., driven by the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant.

  • Roughly 70% of military personnel have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. In Alabama, just over 40% of the population has received at least one dose, per WashPost.
  • Alabama is among several Republican-led states to ban agencies, schools and businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccine passports to access services.

Go deeper

NYC schools prepare for staffing shortages ahead of vaccine mandate deadline

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Sept. 13, 2021. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

Teachers and workers at New York City schools have until Monday to receive their COVID-19 vaccine before the city's mandate takes effect, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the city, ABC 7 reports.

Why it matters: About 6,000 teachers remain unvaccinated as the mandate's deadline looms, the New York Times reports.

Sep 26, 2021 - Health

Pfizer CEO: Company will submit data for children's vaccine to FDA in "days"

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. Photo: John Thys/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer plans to submit data about its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 to the Food and Drug Administration "pretty soon," CEO Albert Bourla told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Why it matters: The start of the school year saw a rise in COVID-19 infections among kids, and heightened the focus on when the vaccine will be available for children.

Sep 26, 2021 - Health

New York prepares for staff shortages from health vaccine mandate

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul during a news conference Tuesday in New York City. Photo: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced Saturday she would declare a state of emergency if there were health worker shortages due to New York's upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Why it matters: Hochul moved to reassure concerns of staffing shortages in the health care sector in a statement that also outlined plans to call in medically trained National Guard members, workers from outside New York and retirees if necessary when the mandate takes effect Monday.