Homestead ARB holds COVID-19 testing

  • Published
  • 482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

With the number of positive COVID-19 cases growing across the United States, the 482nd Fighter Wing here, in conjunction with state and Air Force agencies, held a mass testing July 2 at the Sam Johnson Fitness Center.

“Similar to our surrounding community, Homestead ARB has experienced COVID-19 cases,” said Col. Adam Meyers, 482nd FW vice commander. “Our numbers, however, have so far been limited, and we have robust and redundant measures in place to ensure we continue to perform our missions of homeland defense and providing ready airpower to U.S. combatant commands worldwide.”

He said this mass testing is one means toward ensuring the readiness of the wing as the local community also finds it’s footing on effective reopening.

Priority testing was given to essential personnel on base at greatest risk of coming in contact with people who have already tested positive for the coronavirus. The prioritized group included security forces, fire department personnel, aircraft maintainers, bioenvironmental specialists and medical unit workers.

Those who tested positive, along with those believed to be in close proximity to those who test positive, will be quarantined for 14 days if not already in quarantine.

Meyers said the base bioenvironmental engineering public health office was prepared for an outbreak as they trained 27 contact tracing augmentees using United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine guidelines and training material. Contact tracing and subsequently, quarantine of those exposed, are powerful tools to stop the spread disease.

“As much as any wing does not want to experience an outbreak, we are prepared for this scenario,” Meyers said. “To me, our team has come up with a great example of how a military installation can handle a situation like this. Increased contact tracing and testing ensures our number one priority: the safety and welfare of the Airmen, their families, and the surrounding communities, is met. If we take care of our people, our mission to provide combat airpower will continue.”

Members of the wing are reminded it’s still “safer at home,” to wear face masks when out in public, and follow Defense Department, Center for Disease Control, and local civic guidance.