WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Among the various pieces of information that Col. Patrick Miller addressed in his last coronavirus town hall, one of the first was to commend the service members of the installation for their diligence this past holiday. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was one of only a few communities in the region to not see a spike in COVID-19 cases following Thanksgiving.
“We were concerned about seeing a bump in cases after Thanksgiving, and we didn’t see that holiday bump,” Miller said on Wednesday. “That’’s one of the great things I saw through Thanksgiving, was folks doing the right thing.”
As a significant portion of the installation remains working from home, and those who are on-base follow diligent COVID-19 protocols, Wright-Patt has been able to keep its coronavirus cases relatively under control. The base will remain at Health Protection Condition Bravo, as it prepares for the next stage in the fight against the pandemic.
Wright-Patterson will not be part of the initial distribution of the vaccine. Where exactly Wright-Patt falls on the list of installations to receive vaccines is unclear, as that information is currently being determined by the Department of Defense. However, once the base does receive its supply of vaccinations, the colonel said that the installation will operate on a similar scale to what Ohio and other states are doing.
“The number one focus is going to be on our health-care workers, first responders, and other public safety personnel,” he said. “Then, we will work through the prescribed Department of Defense priorities with a focus on people, mission and readiness.
The base has already tested its capabilities to receive and distribute the vaccines, and has a plan in place to disseminate it once it is received. However, Miller stressed in his remarks that vaccines are useless if people don’t actually take advantage of them once they become available. Miller encouraged all airmen, veterans, and civilians to get the vaccine once it becomes available.
“Once we get it, we are ready to roll,” he added.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.