A positive case of COVID-19 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri was confirmed Saturday and involves an adult, non-military member, according to a Whiteman Air Force Base press release.
According to Whiteman 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs Technical Sergeant Alexander Riedel, the patient had contact with an individual in Missouri who had a positive case. There is no evidence the patient contracted the virus based on travel.
“The patient who tested positive is receiving all necessary medical care on-base and is following strict medically recommended protocol in their on-base residence,” Riedel said in an email to the Democrat. “Their health and protection of others is the main priority – our health care professionals are closely monitoring and assisting in their recovery.”
According to Riedel, access to the base is limited to individuals with Department of Defense ID cards. No new visitor passes are being granted. WAFB commanders and health officials are working with health partners to coordinate their detection and response efforts.
“As a base community we are doing everything we can to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and our units are following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance,” Riedel said. “Additionally, the Department of Defense provides further guidance to military commanders as part of the Health Protection Condition (HPCON) framework. Many of the recommended measures, such as travel restrictions, access restrictions for new visitors and social distancing are already in place and have not changed yet.
“The installation will continue to take those measures necessary to protect the safety, health, and welfare of the installation and the local community,” he continued.
WAFB members are being asked to do everything they can to “mitigate the spread and stay healthy — not just for themselves but also for those around us,” according to Riedel. Strict adherence to the base’s Health Condition measures, which implement clear personal hygiene and social distancing measures, is required.
This has resulted in travel restrictions, home quarantine for returning travels, moving meetings when possible to virtual sessions and authorizing telework for eligible employees. Public gatherings like the base’s annual awards ceremony, Airman Leadership School graduation and Wings Over Whiteman have been canceled, according to Riedel, in response to the pandemic.
“Our airmen, soldiers and their families, live, work and attend school in this community and we are committed to doing our part to limit the spread of this virus every step of the way,” Riedel said. “Our pattern of life is certainly changing as we respond to this situation and rise to the challenge – but our day-to-day missions continue.”
In order to stay safe, all Air Force personnel and family members are encouraged to follow the “guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities,” according to Riedel.
“In accordance with CDC guidance, we encourage all to continue to practice proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of viruses,” Riedel said. “This includes washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
“Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick,” he continued. “Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces is important and all airmen and families are asked to limit contact with those who have been sick, and to avoid gatherings of 10 or more.”
For more information on local measures, facility closures and updates, Whiteman personnel are encouraged to visit www.whiteman.af.mil/News/CORONAVIRUS-19.