US Air Force bases report positive Covid-19 cases

20 March 2020 (Last Updated March 23rd, 2020 14:15)

US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff David Goldfein has reported seven confirmed cases of the new coronavirus Covid-19 to date among active-duty personnel.

US Air Force bases report positive Covid-19 cases
David Goldfein conducts a press briefing with the Pentagon Press Corps to address Air Force response efforts for Covid-19 at the Pentagon. Credit: US Air Force/ Wayne Clark.

US Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff David Goldfein has reported seven confirmed cases of the new coronavirus Covid-19 to date among active-duty personnel.

Following the confirmation, exercises including a Red Flag exercise planned for Alaska and a high-profile test of the Advanced Battle Management System next month were postponed.

Goldfein said during a briefing with reporters at the Pentagon: “We’ve got fighters, bombers, maintainers deployed working to keep America safe.

“We’re still flying global mobility missions and conducting global space operations. So, the global missions we as an airforce support in the joint force, all those missions continue.”

Another two USAF bases, Luke AFB and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) have reported positive Covid-19 cases.

At Luke AFB, two people were tested positive with Covid-19 while JBER said that an active-duty airman tested positive.

The JBER member, who returned from overseas travel recently, is self-quarantined at an off-base residence following public health protocols.

JBER officials have ordered Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Bravo and are monitoring the situation continuously and working with local, state and federal agencies to prevent the spread of the virus.

USAF 56th Medical Group at Luke AFB will be open during regular hours on Saturday and Sunday for Covid-19 related concerns in an effort to provide weekend coverage.

56th Fighter Wing commander Todd Canterbury said: “Due to the actions of healthcare providers at the 56th Medical Group, the members and their families have been isolated in their home since first showing symptoms.

“I ask all of you to remain calm as we work to safeguard our airmen and families and preserve combat capabilities.”