Published: Monday, March 23, 2020 @ 7:34 PM
Updated: Monday, March 23, 2020 @ 10:10 PM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE
UPDATE @ 10:10 p.m.: A public health emergency has been called at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
Col. Thomas Sherman, the 88th Air Base Wing commander, made the declaration Monday afternoon.
The declaration does not close the base, the colonel said, but Wright-Patterson AFB now will be limited to “mission essential work functions and base services for life, health, and sustenance only.”
Col. Sherman said, “The intent of this declaration is to ensure we can collectively take care of our Airmen and their families while allowing commanders to make informed decisions on how to continue conducting their missions to best of their ability.
“These measures are critical to defeating this virus and returning to normal operations. Base leadership will continue to work together to assess the situation and respond accordingly.”
Effective immediately, the base will transition to Health Protection Condition level “Charlie: High morbidity epidemic or contamination.”
Under level “Charlie”:
- Recommendations are provided to the installation commander about limiting access to the base, limiting travel, and modifying or potentially canceling gathering exercises, services and events;
- Only military members, civilian employees and other Defense Department-affiliated personnel (contractors and retirees, for example) will be allowed on base. The exception applies for those groups if they are conducting official business or duties on base, have appointments at a medical or mission support facility or are using base services for sustenance.
- All organizations will go to mission essential personnel only and conduct business via virtual meetings to limit interactions and comply with social distancing.
- The Commissary and Exchange will remain open, as will limited food service operations on base.
- These entry points will remain open, “to better protect our first responders during this event”: Area A: 1A (Commissary Gate); 12A (state Route 444/AFMC Gate); 26A (commercial traffic only); Area B: 19B (National Road Gate);
The directives are to be put into effect along with the usual guidelines that call for safe distance, hand washing covering cough/sneeze with a tissue and not touching your eyes, nose and mouth, cleaning surfaces.
This story CORRECTS an earlier version that incorrectly reported the health risk as “Delta: Severe.”
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