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Wright-Patt Public Health Emergency expires

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base’s Public Health Emergency declaration expired June 30.

The expiration is considered a positive sign in the COVID-19 battle, but it was not an easy decision, said Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander.

“Based on current conditions, I did not renew it,” he said. “I did not make this decision lightly and fully recognize the impact it has on directing telework. Our civilian personnel team is here to assist if you have any questions regarding current telework rules, establishment of telework agreements or updating position descriptions.”

The decision was based on continued improvement — not only on base but across Ohio and the surrounding communities. The incidence rate has steadily declined and local medical treatment facilities continue to see low numbers of COVID-19-related admissions.

Miller said the Wright-Patterson AFB community cannot let its guard down as the new Delta variant of the virus is emerging.

The 88th Medical Group has readily available supplies of the Pfizer vaccine, and those unvaccinated are encouraged to seek out the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ohio Department of Health to assist in informed decision-making.

Health care professionals at Wright-Patterson Medical Center also are available to answer questions.

Personnel and family members 12 and older can schedule a vaccination by calling 937-257-SHOT or visiting https://informatics-stage.health.mil/WPAFBCOVIDApp/. All shots are being issued out of the Immunization Clinic. 

Now is not the time to let down the guard, the base commander said. Unvaccinated personnel must continue to wear masks indoors, physical distancing is still in play and good hygiene remains critical. 

As other signs of a return to normalcy, Gate 15A is open, Child Development Center slots are increasing, the schedule is populated with community events, and more and more activities are in person. 

“The fact we have made it here, at a point when we can terminate the Public Health Emergency, is a tremendous accomplishment and something that we should celebrate,” Miller added. “I’m excited to see increased events across the base and teammates reconnecting.”