Little Rock AFB announces first positive COVID-19 case, declares public health emergency

  • Published
  • By 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

An active-duty U.S. Air Force Airman assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, is currently undergoing evaluation and treatment following a positive novel coronavirus test. The Airmen is believed to have contracted COVID-19 from recent travels.

Additionally, Col. John Schutte, the 19th Airlift Wing and Little Rock AFB installation commander declared a public health emergency for the base at 5 p.m. today due to the evolving threat of COVID-19.

The declaration of a public health emergency allows the base commander to take certain protective measures, such as restricting base movement and limiting services. The emergency order is in place for 30 days. The order can be terminated or extended as required.

“Right now we have one confirmed case of COVID-19 on our installation,” said Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing and Little Rock AFB installation commander. “The safety of our Airmen, families and employees is our top priority.  We will continue to work with our interagency partners to ensure we do everything we can to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and ensure our Airmen, families and employees here have the most up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent the potential spread of the virus.” 

The base remains in Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level BRAVO. This is a moderate health alert in response to public health risks in the local community and to base personnel. We are taking proactive steps to encourage all Little Rock AFB personnel to follow Force Health Protection and CDC guidance to avoid contracting or spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.

Little Rock AFB leadership is constantly monitoring the situation and will provide additional information as it becomes available.

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