U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- As of March 20, there has not been a case of COVID-19 reported at the Air Force Academy but top officials at the base said they are taking every measure to protect everyone at the base.
Large gatherings and all but the most essential services have been limited at the Air Force Academy as base officials ramp up health protection measures to keep staff and families safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This week at the base, at-risk workers, most service members and civilian employees teleworked from home to comply with new guidance from the Office of Management and Budget encouraging government employees to maximize their telework capabilities.
“Protecting the health of our Total Force Airmen and their families is our top priority and enables all units and bases to maintain the highest readiness level possible,” said Col. Brian Hartless, 10th Air Base Wing commander. “We are taking immediate steps to preserve our mission-critical functions.”
Hartless, Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria and medical officials at the base are regularly consulting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pentagon-level Air Force leaders and the Department of Defense for the most up-to-date guidance.
“Our Public Health and Medical experts are continuously monitoring the situation,” Hartless said. “We are actively engaged with the El Paso County Public Health Department officials, Air Force leaders and the Front Range military bases.”
Silveria called the outbreak an “unprecedented event” for the Academy and the U.S.
“I am not surprised that our team has thus far proved equal to the task, but much work lies ahead, and our challenges will only get more difficult in the days, weeks and months to come. I am proud to serve alongside this team of outstanding and highly capable people as we confront this challenge together.”
The majority of services at the Academy are limited or suspended until further notice.
Beginning March 21, the Commissary hours will change until further notice.
-- Tuesday - Friday, 9-11 a.m.: Cadets, active duty service members and their dependents, senior citizens and customers with underlying health conditions only
-- Saturday: 8-9 a.m., cadets only; 9-10 a.m. -- active duty service members and their dependents, senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions only
-- Sunday: 10-11 a.m., cadets only; 11 a.m.-noon: active duty service members and their dependents, senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions only
-- All other customers will be permitted to shop after the two hour designated time until the commissary closes for the day
Child Development Center services are limited to children of parents or guardians designated as mission essential. The CDC’s staff will work with parents or guardians placed on mission essential status.
The Community Chapel has suspended all services but chaplains are available for anyone needing ministry services. Call the chapel at 719-333-3300 for more information.
The Bowling Alley, Arts and Crafts Center, Cadet Entertainment, Eisenhower Golf Course, Community Fitness Center and pool are closed.
The Barber Shop in Fairchild Hall is closed. The Barber Shop in the Community center is open 10 a.m., 3 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
Dental and medical services are limited. The primary and cadet medical clinics are open, but most non-essential medical services are curtailed. Dental appointments are restricted to emergency, essential and pain management care.
Delivery of official mail has stopped but customers may drop off or receive official Mail at the Official Mail Office in the Community Center.
The Pass and Registration Office is closed, with services available at the Large Vehicle Inspection Station.
[Editor’s note: The Air Force Academy will continue to provide the latest updates on the COVID-19 disease as it effects our local military and civilian community. To see the latest reports, visit www.usafa.edu and www.usafa.af.mil. The most current information can also be found on our official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites.]