Advice Given

First Case of Coronavirus is Reported at Tinker

The first case of the coronavirus was confirmed at Tinker U.S. Air Force Base.

TINKER—The first case of the coronavirus at Tinker U.S. Air Force Base has been reported.

Officials said the Air Force member is being treated and evaluated by healthcare professionals.

Tinker is the state’s largest single-site employer. 

Other large employers, including Devon and Amazon, have announced cases in recent days.

“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 healthcare agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Defense guidelines.”

Tinker declared a public health emergency last week and is in Health Protection Condition Bravo to reflect the current situation posed by COVID-19 and the risk of exposure to personnel, a statement said. 

“Organizations have been advised to have employees work from home as deemed appropriate, but the Pentagon has issued guidance that the workforce supporting the national defense is essential,” the statement continued.

Base officials said they are working closely with the Oklahoma Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area.

“All Air Force personnel and their families are being encouraged to continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of the virus,” the statement said.

“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 percent alcohol,” according to the statement.

“All of us should not shake hands, and routinely disinfect all commonly used surfaces.,” the statement went on.

“Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick,” the statement advised.

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

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