Davis-Monthan, Pima County plan for COVID-19

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Bob England, Pima County Health Department interim director, and U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Parsons, 355th Medical Group commander from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., tap elbows after signing a memorandum of understanding regarding COVID-19 at Tucson, Ariz., March 13, 2020. The two medical experts took the moment to tap elbows instead of the traditional handshake after an agreement to display the necessary precautions citizens should take when illness could be unknowingly present. While the state of Arizona is at a low risk of COVID-19, the MOU states a written agreement between Davis-Monthan and PCHD as they support each other with a containment plan. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Mya M. Crosby)
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TUCSON, Ariz.–The 355th Medical Group, assigned to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., and the Pima County Health Department signed a Memorandum of Agreement regarding COVID-19 in Tucson, Arizona, March 13, 2020.

There have been four confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pima County and zero cases on Davis-Monthan AFB. The MOA states how the two organizations will support one another as the virus continues to spread in the region.

“Whatever happens with us, happens to the people of the base,” said Bob England, PCHD interim director. “The emphasizing of washing hands and keeping your hands out of your face may be really difficult, but try to be cognizant of it. If you’re sick, we don’t want you reporting for duty. It will go a long way.”

COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, is known to spread through droplets from the nose and mouth, and is not an airborne disease. The practice of basic and consistent hygiene, such as washing hands for 20 seconds and staying home if ill, is highly advised by medical professionals.

“People should be assured that the local health department and the Davis-Monthan medical community are fully locked in step,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Parsons, 355th MDG commander. “We have full communication, and we are fully on board with sharing information, bilateral communication, and presenting the same unified front in confronting this health emergency declared by the president.”

In response to the virus, the Department of Defense issued a stop movement of all personnel to, from or through locations designated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as Level 3 COVID-19 areas, effective March 13, for the next 60 days. In recognition of the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona, Davis-Monthan and PCHD will continue to collaborate to ensure the safety of Tucsonans and the Desert Lightning Team.

“Information is the weapon of choice,” Parsons said. “We will get through it together with our partner local organizations. Tucson residents and Davis-Monthan personnel owe a lot to their own health decisions and care in terms of what they can do. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of washing your hands, not touching your face, wiping down surfaces in your home and work area, and if you are sick, stay home and call your supervisor and medical team.”
 
 
 

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