FORT GORDON, G.A. (WJBF) – Army leaders at Fort Gordon are being encouraged to enforce stricter covid protocols.

“To be honest, it doesn’t matter if I agree or disagree. We gotta follow orders and that’s the thing our opinion doesn’t matter when you enlist,” said a service member who did not want to be identified.

Fort Gordon leaders are tightening up some of their COVID-19 restrictions on the post. It’s in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the area.

“Even people that are fully vaccinated are still popping positive, and at a certain point it starts to interrupt operations,” said the service member.

The post transitioned to HP CON BRAVO at the beginning of August. That means Fort Gordon leaders implemented more COVID-19 protocols on top of the CDC guidelines. That includes avoiding unnecessary contact with others like shaking hands or hugging. Avoiding unnecessary travel, ensuring members have food and medications for children and pets for up to 14 days… And that list goes on. Now commanders are being encouraged to add on to those restrictions for their units.

“So they have a hard decision to make and in my opinion, it’s the only one they can make,” he said.

Fort Stewart in Hinesville is also following suit. Wednesday post leaders announced that all service members, regardless of their vaccination status were prohibited from going to bars, dance clubs, and nightclubs. NewsChannel 6 was unable to confirm what specific restrictions each commander was placing on their units, at Fort Gordon, but some local business owners say if restrictions get any tighter it could hurt their business.

“Because we aren’t getting the standard flow that we would normally get,” said Chris Lord.

Chris lord is a tattoo artist at Full Moon Tattoos. He says nearly half of their clientele are members of the military.

“Normally on payday weekends on the 1st and 15th there are a lot of soldiers that come in. Being an ex military member myself, we love tattoos. It’s a way to show off our camaraderie, it’s a way to show off our patriotism and our love for what we did in the military. So, with them being shut down it’s limiting them from being able to do what they want,” said Lord.

And it’s hindering the shop’s income. But with more than 30,000 cases in Richmond County alone, lord does agree to an extent that it’s a necessary action, that needs to be taken in order to keep newer soldiers protected.

I know that they don’t always make the best decisions, because they’re in new areas, they’re away from mom and dad and they don’t have that harsh leadership and guidelines like they did in basic and AIT, he said.