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MacDill Air Force Base now reports five coronavirus cases

MacDill Air Force Base will observe a full-day, "resilience tactical pause'' Friday to address a growing number of suicides in the Air Force. Airmen will participate in team-building activities and small-group discussions on mental health. This is happening at military bases across the U.S. .

MacDill Air Force Base is now monitoring five confirmed cases of the coronavirus and is limiting movement and services across the base, said Col. Stephen Snelson, commander of the Air Force’s 6th Air Refueling Wing.

Three initial cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, were reported from within the ranks of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command, both of which are also headquartered at MacDill in Tampa.

Base officials have said they will not announce new cases, only the total number discovered there.

Under the direction of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, MacDill and other military installations are now under “Health Protection Condition Charlie.” For MacDill, that means changes to services and access to the base, according to Command Chief Master Sgt. Anthony Green of the 6th Air Refueling Wing.

That includes closing two entry gates at the end of the week, changes to services and hours at the base clinic, the optical center and other facilities and banning food trucks from entering MacDill. All changes are noted on MacDill’s website.

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The commissary hours will also change starting Monday. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays to active-duty personnel and their dependents only. The normal hours will move to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Snelson noted that the base is also limiting who comes on base during the pandemic.

“If you don’t have a need to come to base, if you don’t have an appointment, if you don’t have something that you have to get at the commissary or the BX please stay at home,” Snelson said in a video posted on the base’s Facebook page Thursday afternoon.

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© 2020 the Tampa Bay Times