WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Gatherings of up to 50 people are back on at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, per the March 3 coronavirus town hall by 88th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Patrick Miller. As the base surges ahead in the fight against COVID-19, low COVID numbers and high numbers of administered vaccines warrant a small loosening of restrictions on the installation.
Wright-Patterson’s numbers of hospitalizations, ICU cases, and COVID-positive cases are trending downward, mirroring state and area numbers, according to the commander. As such, the base is “in the right place to open things up a bit,” Miller said. “We are heading in the right direction.”
The installation will remain in Health Protection Condition (HPCon) Bravo, and in phase two of returning to full capacity. Mission commanders are permitted to bring up to fifty percent of their workforce back inside the fence, however, Miller encouraged people to continue to optimize telework going into the future.
“We’re doing some amazing things and learning each and every day in this telework environment,” he added. “And I would argue there are some things we are doing better today than we did before the coronavirus pandemic.”
Gov. DeWine on Tuesday removed the cap on gatherings such as wedding receptions and banquet halls, something Miller said he intended to parallel at Wright-Patt. Gatherings on base will increase to 50 people, up from the previous ten, with masks and physical distancing still required.
To date, Wright-Patt Medical Center has administered over 13,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine, the second highest in the Department of the Air Force, the commander said. Additionally, Wright-Patterson leads the Department of the Air Force with the number of people who have received both doses.
“We’re doing an awesome job of putting shots in arms, and I couldn’t be prouder of our medical team,” Miller continued.
The 88th Medical Group is currently waiting on its next shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, and is following the Department of Defense schema for vaccine rollout, rather than the State of Ohio. The base is currently administering vaccines to Tricare beneficiaries 70 and older as well as mission-essential personnel.
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