Edwards announces first COVID-19 case

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Air Force graphic by Rosario “Charo” Guitierrez
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An active duty member, assigned to the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., is being treated and evaluated by health care professionals at an off-installation medical facility and is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 among the base population.

The member does not reside on Edwards and was quarantined at an off-base residence after showing signs during a vacation.

“This is our first confirmed case,” said Col. Matthew Higer, 412th Test Wing commander. “The continued safety and well-being of all of Team Edwards has been and remains my focus. Leaders at all levels of Team Edwards continue to work with our base medical staff and in close coordination with off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 for the installation, the greater Aerospace Valley, and the nation using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

Edwards officials are working closely with the California Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area. The base is providing installation personnel and their families with frequent up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus, as well as any impact to local activities.

The base encourages all Air Force personnel and their families to continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. 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 percent alcohol. People should not shake hands, and routinely disinfect all commonly used surfaces. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick. Finally, if personnel are sick, they are to remain at home.

“I continue to encourage and expect all personnel on Edwards AFB to rigorously follow Force Health Protection guidelines that will help to safeguard our community and reduce the impact of a widespread outbreak,” said Higer. “Additionally, all levels of the Department of Defense have issued travel advisories and restrictions that are targeted at flattening the curve of the epidemic.”

Edwards AFB is in Health Protection Condition B to reflect the moderate risk posed by COVID-19 and the risk of exposure to personnel.

Installation leadership will provide additional information as it becomes available. See https://www.edwards.af.mil/coronavirus/ for updates.

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