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Tinker AFB announces first confirmed COVID-19 case

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

UPDATE: It is confirmed that the member who tested positive for COVID-19 is a member of the 38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group. The 72nd Medical Group public health officials are actively tracing the member’s recent movements and contacts in conjunction with affected units and local health authorities. Anyone considered to have been exposed to increased risk will be contacted directly. For those who believe they may have been exposed can contact the 24 hour COVID-19 Hotline: 405-582-6297.

A member of Tinker Air Force Base is being treated and evaluated by health care professionals following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at the base.

“This is our first confirmed case,” said Col. Paul Filcek, 72nd Air Base Wing commander.  “The continued safety and well-being of the installation is my top priority.  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. 72nd Medical Group public health officials are actively tracing the member’s recent movements and contacts in conjunction with affected units and local health authorities. Anyone considered to have been exposed to increased risk will be contacted directly.”

Tinker AFB declared a public health emergency on March 23 and is in Health Protection Condition Bravo to reflect the current situation posed by COVID-19 and the risk of exposure to personnel.

Tinker AFB officials are working closely with the Oklahoma Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area.  Officials are regularly providing installation personnel and their families with up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus, as well as any impact to local activities.

All Air Force personnel and their families are encouraged to continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.  This includes washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  People should not shake hands, and routinely disinfect all commonly used surfaces. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick.

“We are encouraging all personnel to follow Force Health Protection guidelines to safeguard our community to prevent widespread outbreak, and adhere to travel advisories and restrictions,” Filcek said.

Tinker AFB leadership will continually monitor the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.

For the most up to date impacts and resources at Tinker AFB, visit https://www.tinker.af.mil/coronavirus/