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Davis-Monthan AFB suspends air operations, steps up health protection in response to COVID-19

TUCSON - The 355th Wing Commander directed an upgrade Wednesday from Health Protection Condition Bravo to Health Protection Condition Charlie for Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.

This action is in response to the Secretary of Defense order for all Department of Defense Components to implement Health Protection Condition Charlie as a result of COVID-19.

To elaborate, HPCON Charlie situations are defined as high morbidity epidemic or contamination, according to DMAFB's health protection measures diagram.

Examples of HPCON Charlie measures, according to DMAFB's health protection measures diagram, include social distancing, shelter-in-place indoors, or if directed, donate respirators, mass distribution of medical countermeasures, if applicable.

Graphic courtesy of DMAFB Public Affairs - March 25, 2020

There are currently zero confirmed cases at DMAFB and the Pima County Health Department assesses the current risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the county as moderate, according to DMAFB Public Affairs.

However, Davis-Monthan AFB says if members of the community develop symptoms, come into close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or who have recently traveled from an affected area, they should immediately contact 355th Medical Group Public Health's COVID-19 Helpline at 520-228-1904.

DMAFB says that the health of their Airmen, their families and their community partners remain their top priority.

Davis-Monthan's recent upgrade to HPCON Charlie is a prudent measure taken to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 at DMAFB and within Pima County.

Furthermore, flying operations at Davis-Monthan are paused until further notice and that personnel should contact their leadership for further details.

The following actions are included in HPCON Charlie and DMAFB's updated posture:

- Strict hygiene (frequently washing and/or sanitizing hands, wiping common-use items with disinfectant)

- Covering mouths and noses with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing; and staying home when sick

- Practicing social distancing and refraining from physical contact such as hand shaking, fist bumps, and sharing food

- Cancellation of large-scale community events

For those who want to remain informed with Davis-Monthan's response to COVID-19, click here.

To find out more about the COVID-19, or the coronavirus outbreak, click here.

Carla Litto

Digital content producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. Carla previously interned at the NBC affiliate. She is currently a senior at UArizona majoring in journalism.

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