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Be cautious, stay healthy: Commandant Message

CW Permanent Party,

I wanted to send a short email reiterating a few facts about our current situation.

Our priority right now at USAFA is keeping our cadets and all of you healthy so we can get the class of ’20 to graduation. While we’re taking measures to limit our interactions with cadets, please realize our main limiting factor is keeping our permanent party members healthy. We are the ones coming and going from the campus most frequently, with the most potential to spread germs from outside the base. If our faculty get sick, we can’t teach.

With an eye toward graduation on May 28, every day we get one fewer day to accomplish our graduation objectives. Right now we have zero cases of COVID-19, so we need to accomplish as many of our graduation objectives as possible while we can.

The best way to ensure USAFA can keep making accomplishments toward graduation is continuing to be cautious. All of us are confined to the local area. The Superintendent defined that as a 100-mile radius for permanent party in order to enable access to the Denver airport. However, the intent is that we follow the same guidelines given to our cadets – public interactions should be limited to cautious grocery store and takeout food trips. You should all be social distancing yourselves in the workplace, and taking it seriously. Please exercise caution on behalf of all of USAFA as we are all in this together. The more we open ourselves to the spread in El Paso county, the more we risk not making it to graduation. Anything introduced in our homes, is in-turned introduced in our cadet’s environment….we are all one big family, like it or not!

Finally, I’d like to pass on the instructions directly for what to do if you are sick. The best original source is USAFA’s consolidated source of information at the following website: https://www.usafa.af.mil/coronavirus/.

As of March 19, the instructions are:

  • If you are a 10th MDG beneficiary and wish to be tested, call 719-526-2273 to leave a message. A nurse will call back to schedule an appointment. Do not show up to the clinic without calling ahead as that puts other patients and healthcare workers at risk.
  • Civilians – call your doctor’s office or emergency department and tell them you may have COVID-19 prior to going in person to help protect themselves and others.

Again, we’re all going through this together. Please funnel your questions and concerns up the chain. Thanks for everything you’ve done to get us this far!

V/R
ME

MICHELE C. EDMONDSON, Brig Gen, USAF
29th Commandant of Cadets
United States Air Force Academy