Dyess AFB healthcare worker tests positive for COVID-19

State & Regional

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — A healthcare worker at Dyess Air Force Base has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

In a Thursday evening Facebook post, Commander Ed Sumangil said they received the positive test earlier in the afternoon for the person who was tested March 24.

Sumangil says the person has received medical care and is quarantined at home as they investigate their “social tracing.”

The case has no known source of exposure at this time, Sumangil says.

They are also working to identify and contact the people this individual may have had contact with over the last two weeks, and will instruct them on proper protocols in an attempt to ensure their safety.

See the commander’s full statement in the attached video.

Dyess Air Force Base issued the following news release Thursday night:

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – A military member has tested positive for COVID-19 at Dyess AFB, Texas.

To mitigate and manage the risks associated with COVID-19, Team Dyess implemented proactive measures to reduce the spread of the virus among our base population and to ensure continuation of our no-fail mission.

Because of this development, the installation commander has temporarily closed various Medical Group facilities to fully investigate this matter and clean the facilities. The pharmacy will remain open. Further restrictions and temporary closures may be necessary.

“A member of Team Dyess was diagnosed with COVID-19,” said Col. Jose E. Sumangil, 7th Bomb Wing commander. “Our top priorities right now are ensuring the individual receives the treatment they need and protecting the health and safety of all our Airmen, families and the Abilene community. We will continue to work with our interagency partners to make sure we do everything we can to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and educate our team on appropriate measures to prevent the potential spread of the virus.”

This positive is in addition to the City of Abilene’s positive test announcement earlier today.

Team Dyess is currently in Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie and has declared a public health emergency. Additionally, base access restrictions have been implemented for anyone who is not an on-base resident, active duty military member, military dependent or a Reserve or National Guard member working on Dyess AFB. Department of Defense civilians and contractors are also excluded if they fall under the base’s essential missions as directed by their unit leadership.

Team Dyess leadership is continually monitoring the situation and working closely with the Abilene Department of Health to provide families with up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent spread of the virus.

Social distancing at all times will continue to be a focus. Additionally, clean workstations and good hygiene are crucial for slowing the spread of disease and germs. Team Dyess members should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, limit contact with those who have been sick and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

If exposed to, or experiencing symptoms of, COVID-19 Team Dyess members are advised to self-isolate and contact the Dyess COVID-19 HOTLINE (325-696-4677, Option 6) and their chain of command for further guidance. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever and shortness of breath.

For the latest base specific information on COVID-19, visit the Dyess AFB website at https://www.dyess.af.mil/COVID-19-Info/ or contact the 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs office at 325-696-4820 or 7bwpa@us.af.mil.

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