WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE — Due to the public health situation on the installation involving the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Whiteman Air Force Base declared a public health emergency on Sunday, March 22.

It was announced Saturday, March 21, that Johnson County, Missouri’s, first confirmed positive COVID-19 case was reported at Whiteman Air Force Base.

“There are no immediate, additional restrictions in place; however, they may be implemented in the future,” the base stated. “Service members and their families are highly encouraged to limit their travel and maintain proper social distancing and self-quarantine procedures. Base access will remain open to Department of Defense ID card-holders, however the installation will continue to deny non-DoD affiliated persons from receiving new visitor passes.”

Team Whiteman leadership states it is closely monitoring the situation and proactively working with local partners and communities to address the potential spread of COVID-19 and keep airmen, families and the base’s neighbors healthy and well-informed.

“I do not take this step lightly,” Col. Jeffrey Schreiner, 509th Bomb Wing commander, said. “COVID-19 presents dynamic challenges and Team Whiteman must rise to them. We must do all we can to protect the base and our vital missions. I am taking measures that will directly safeguard the health of our Airmen and families and slow the spread of the virus.”

The base states social distancing remains one of the most effective ways of halting the spread of coronavirus.

Additionally, the base reminds people that clean workstations and good hygiene are crucial; airmen, their families and civilians should regularly wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, limit contact with those who have been sick and avoid gatherings of more than 10 individuals.

If someone is feeling ill and is at the base, call the local nurse advice line at (660) 687-1537.

“All measures are being taken out of an abundance of caution; the commanders of Whiteman Air Force Base are committed to keeping airmen and their families healthy, while also maintaining the vital national defense capabilities of the installation, which include operating the B-2 Spirit strategic stealth bomber to provide worldwide global strike,” the base states. “The Public Health Emergency measures will be overseen and managed by the 509th Medical Group and the Public Health Emergency Officer, at the direction of the 509th BW commander.”

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