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Air Force Academy's contact tracing program proves vital

COVID-19

A cadet at studies behind a Plexiglas barrier in McDermott Library at the U.S. Air Force Academy. To combat the recent COVID surge in Colorado, the Academy's leadership has implemented two rounds of 100% testing of the Cadet Wing over the last three weeks, and is limiting staff and faculty interactions with cadets to the greatest extent possible. (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- To ensure the health and safety of cadets, Airmen and families on base, the Air Force Academy has and continues to stringently apply all health and safety precautions in accordance with local, state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

To combat the recent COVID surge in Colorado, Academy leadership has implemented two rounds of 100% testing of the Cadet Wing over the last three weeks, and is limiting staff and faculty interactions with cadets to the greatest extent possible.

Cadets are being asked to limit close, in-person social contact to just their roommates. Cadets are encouraged to enjoy the outdoors during this time with running, hiking and biking, and they are also allowed to go to the base commissary where an hour a day has been set aside only for cadet use.

The Academy’s contact tracing process has proven very successful in helping reduce COVID spread. Half of the cadets who tested positive were already in quarantine resulting from contact tracing, thereby minimizing further spread and risk. There are rooms in our dormitory towers designated for quarantine and isolation where medical personnel are available 24 hours a day.

In both isolation and quarantine, cadets have meals delivered, laundry done for them, time outdoors for exercise and access to mental health professionals 24 hours a day. Our staff, including dedicated health professionals, are always on site, caring for them.

The Academy remains committed to taking all necessary steps to keep the Cadet Wing healthy so cadets will be able to leave for winter break next month following the completion of the academic semester. We remain thankful for the continued support of the Colorado Springs community, local government and community leaders.