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Homeland Security

U.S. Air Force News

Air Force update for COVID-19

By Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published April 20, 2020

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In an effort to minimize the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 and to prioritize the health and safety of Department of the Air Force personnel, the following modifications have been made:

April 20, 2020

The Department of the Air Force signed an agreement April 17 with Curative, Inc., to deploy and scale an oral fluid coronavirus test, which recently received a Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization, across Air Force installations. The Department of the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office, in coordination with the Defense Health Agency and Joint Acquisition Task Force established by the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition & Sustainment and DHA, is managing the $13 million research and development Blanket Purchase Agreement with the COVID-19 testing startup.

Read more about this agreement here:

In response to the growing number of COVID-19 cases on Guam, the 36th Wing, with support from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska and Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii is constructing an Expeditionary Medical Support System or EMEDS, on the grounds of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. The EMEDS facility consists of 11 medical units, and six warehouse units.

Read more about the EMEDS facility here:

Three Ohio Air Force Reservists have deployed to the Lincoln Medical Center Intensive Care Unit in the Bronx, New York to aid in the fight against COVID-19. These medical professionals join the more than 125 Reserve Airmen medical professionals mobilized to New York City over the past month.

Read more about their story here:

Members of the Hawaii National guard were transported to neighbor islands on a C-17 Globemaster III to assist with the COVID-19 response. Military transport has been utilized to minimize exposure to disease at airports.

See photos of their efforts here:

Florida National Guard doctors, nurses and medics joined Florida International University at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) to conduct refresher training in preparation of potentially receiving patients at the MBCC alternate care facility. The Guard partnered with the university to provide "just in time training" so that providers from different specialties could refresh their knowledge in several areas, including proper personal protective equipment wear, medical procedures and several other necessary tasks that that are specific to the COVID-19 response.

Read more about this Joint Task Force Aide partnership:

On an average Air Force day, Airmen with the 509th Maintenance Group research and engineering shop find themselves crafting and creating specific parts for multi-billion dollar aircraft to ensure the B-2 Spirit is mission-ready. In the wake of COVID-19, the 509th MXG RE section has expanded its mission set to include reusable face shields.

Read more about Whiteman AFB, Missouri's 3D-printed face shields here:

Essential missions throughout the Air Force still continue even during this pandemic.  Below are some links to stories on how these units have adapted to make sure they can continue to execute these missions despite COVID-19.

Class of 2020 takes graduation in stride during COVID-19 crisis -

A day in the life: Nurses -

Public Health Emergency Working Group at forefront of Offutt COVID-19 response -

Purple flags honor military children in an uncertain time -

Airmen adjust schedule, adapt techniques to combat COVID-19 -

Air Force Totals of COVID-19 Positive Cases as of 9 p.m., April 19, 2020*

Military 330 (+2) 8 78 (+5) 0
Civilian 172 (+4) 12 (+1) 37 (+5) 0
Dependents 199 (+8) 6(+1)  49 (+7) 0
Contractors 70 (+6) 4 13 (+4 1
Total 757 30 177 1

*These numbers include all of the cases that were reported since our last update on April 17th.

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