JBER leaders declare public health emergency, urge personnel to avoid places without masking or distancing – Anchorage Daily News

” This declaration reflects the ongoing reality that JBER is experiencing continual community transmission of COVID-19,” Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, 673d Air Base Wing and JBER leader, stated in a ready statement.” If the circumstance continues to aggravate, additional steps to secure the force will be carried out, including restricting access to off-base facilities,” JBER authorities said in a statement.In a letter sent to personnel Friday, Lt. Gen. David Krumm, a senior military leader accountable for Air Force forces in Alaska and the homeland defense mission for the state, stated that most exposures to the virus amongst service members are occurring off JBER. Other health centers in the city and state are reporting comparable levels of tension on staffing and capacity.Department of Defense and federal installations, like JBER, require masking and social distancing in all indoor facilities if theyre located in an area of high transmission, Krumm said.Krumm said restrictions, like the ones JBER enacted in October 2020 that avoided service members from going to particular off-base establishments, could be enacted if there isnt enhancement soon.” All Department of Defense service members are needed to get the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and Krumm said in an interview that the Air Force system on JBER is approaching 95% vaccination coverage.

Military leaders on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson declared a public health emergency situation Friday and prompted personnel to avoid off-base places that do not require masking or social distancing, given the progressively high COVID-19 case counts and strained hospital capability in Southcentral Alaska.” This statement shows the ongoing reality that JBER is experiencing sustained neighborhood transmission of COVID-19,” Air Force Col. Kirsten Aguilar, 673d Air Base Wing and JBER leader, said in a prepared declaration. “It will stay in effect for 30 days, however may be extended or reduced based upon conditions.” The base has actually moved into Health Protection Condition Bravo. The change suggests Aguilar has more authority to do something about it that would protect the base against COVID-19.” If the situation continues to aggravate, additional measures to secure the force will be carried out, consisting of restricting access to off-base establishments,” JBER authorities said in a statement.In a letter sent to personnel Friday, Lt. Gen. David Krumm, a senior military leader accountable for Air Force forces in Alaska and the homeland defense mission for the state, stated that a lot of exposures to the infection amongst service members are happening off JBER.” Unfortunately, the lack of mitigation measures off-base has led to alarmingly high infection rates, hospitalizations and deaths in our neighborhood,” Krumm composed. “Current COVID cases on JBER have not yet reached the point of endangering our preparedness, but they are increasing, and our information is that off-base direct exposure is the main source of infection for our service members and their households.” While the base is not implementing any immediate restrictions, Krumm stated he is asking military members and families to prevent centers that do not need masks, physical distancing and other mitigation measures.At the moment, neither Anchorage nor the Mat-Su have mask requirements or capability constraints for services or events in location. In Anchorage, Mayor Dave Bronson has actually continued to decrease pursuing such measures.COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Anchorage and statewide have risen greatly in a rise driven by the extremely contagious delta variation. Alaska on Friday had the countrys third greatest COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 individuals over the last 2 weeks. [Alaska is now 3rd in the country for highest case rate as state reports nearly 900 cases and 1 death Friday] The circumstance has actually grown so dire that the states biggest hospital, Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, today began rationing care under crisis-care protocols. Other medical facilities in the city and state are reporting similar levels of stress on staffing and capacity.Department of Defense and federal installations, like JBER, require masking and social distancing in all indoor centers if theyre located in an area of high transmission, Krumm said.Krumm said constraints, like the ones JBER enacted in October 2020 that avoided service members from visiting particular off-base establishments, could be enacted if there isnt improvement quickly.” This is a message to our service members and their families that we should do this voluntarily simply to help out our neighborhood and to assist the force,” Krumm said in an interview Friday. “Also, to let them have notification that ought to it get even worse, we will absolutely do whatever we have to secure the force.” All Department of Defense service members are required to get the FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, and Krumm said in an interview that the Air Force system on JBER is approaching 95% vaccination protection.” We always encourage everyone who is qualified for the vaccine to take it as quickly as possible,” Krumm said. “We have a lot of vaccines readily available. And we have an open door policy for anyone here on base to come get their vaccines.”

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