Coronavirus: WPAFB Medical Center imposes new restrictions

Col. Thomas Sherman, commander, 88th Air Base Wing. FILE

Combined ShapeCaption
Col. Thomas Sherman, commander, 88th Air Base Wing. FILE

As COVID-19 and government orders impose sweeping new restrictions across Ohio and the nation, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is temporarily closed and the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Medical Center is screening visitors.

Wright-Patterson said Saturday afternoon that a base employee is its first confirmed case of COVID-19.


“The continued safety and well-being of the Wright-Patterson community is my top priority,” Col. Thomas Sherman, 88th Air Base Wing commander, said in a statement. “We are working with our base medical staff and off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

MORECoronavirus: Some banks waive payments, close branches

Sherman offered an update on Facebook Sunday evening. He said the person who tested positive worked in Building 262 on the base’s Area A.

"We are working in concert to make sure all the necessary precautions are being taken for the office itself," Sherman said in a video Sunday. "The individual that was infected is in close communication with the medical community, and they are being walked through all the necessary protocols for isolation and monitoring so we can get them back to health as soon as possible."

Sherman also said the base is tracing that employee’s “patterns of life over the last two weeks to make sure any of the employees who may have been in close contact with this individual are also informed so they can begin self-monitoring over the next 14 days.”

Wright-Patterson said the base is designated in health protection condition “Bravo.” The base is encouraging all personnel to practice social distancing and proper hygiene, and adhere to travel advisories and restrictions.

Meanwhile, since Friday, the base medical center has designated only two entry points, to allow staff “precautionary screening” for patients, staff and visitors before entering.

Medical Center patients will be allowed one visitor per day with the number of visits held to the minimum necessary, the base said.

Patients and visitors are being asked to arrive early and enter through the medical center Atrium or Clinic/MRI entrances, where a series of screening questions will be asked of those coming inside.

Visitation hours are now 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., along with more strict visitation guidelines, the base said.

The base is instructing visitors that they should be healthy on entering and prepared to remain primarily in the patient’s room for the duration of their visit to the medical center.

“Due to safety measure being taken, visitation is restricted to spouses, significant others, parents, legal guardians and children over the age of 14,” the base said.

Beginning Wednesday, base child development centers will provide service only to base essential personnel. All children will be consolidated in the New Horizons Child Development Center on Area A. That includes school-age children.

All other child-care facilities will be closed, the base said.

About the Author