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Hanscom Air Force Base announces first COVID-19 case

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – A Hanscom Air Force Base member is being treated and evaluated by health care professionals following the first confirmed case of COVID-19 we have at the base.

The individual recently returned from overseas and had been in quarantine since coming home.

“This is our first confirmed case,” said Col. Chad Ellsworth, installation commander. “The continued safety and well-being of Hanscom personnel and residents is my top priority. We are working with our base medical staff and off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

Hanscom Air Force Base declared a public health emergency on March 16 and is in Health Protection Condition Charlie to reflect the threat posed by COVID-19, the increased number of cases in the local area, and the risk of exposure to personnel.

Hanscom officials are working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area. We are regularly providing installation personnel and their families with up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus, as well as any impact to local activities. Information can be found on the COVID-19 page of the Hanscom website at https://www.hanscom.af.mil/Coronavirus/.

We encourage all Air Force personnel, Hanscom residents and their families to continue to practice social distancing and proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. People should not shake hands, and routinely disinfect all commonly used surfaces. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick.

“We are encouraging all personnel to follow Force Health Protection guidelines to safeguard our community to prevent widespread outbreak, and adhere to travel advisories and restrictions,” Ellsworth said.

Hanscom Air Force Base leadership will continually monitor the situation and provide additional information as it becomes available.