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Air Force in Hawaii confirms 1st coronavirus case in ranks

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (US Navy/Released)

An active-duty military member assigned to Pacific Air Forces headquarters in Hawaii tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, the Air Force said.

“This is the first positive case of an active duty airman (in) Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Health has been notified,” said the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in a statement.

The Hickam airman did not have a recent travel history and had contact with personnel throughout the headquarters building at the joint base, the Air Force said. The airman is currently in home isolation off base.

On-base public health officials have begun the contact tracing process to notify those who may have come in contact with the positive individual.

“The 15th Medical Group Public Health office is working with appropriate state and military health officials. In coordination with the joint base, we continue to execute deliberate precautions to ensure we mitigate COVID-19 transmission while preserving the force and mission capability,” Col. Halsey Burks, 15th Wing commander, said in the release. “We appreciate the guidance and collaborative nature between the local, state, and sister service partners as we collectively battle the pandemic.”

With support of the local health care community, Pacific Air Forces and the joint base “are taking all the measures necessary to mitigate the spread of disease. These measures are helping to keep airmen and their families healthy and safe and to ensure the continuation of the mission,” the Air Force said.

Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam remains at Health Protection Condition “Charlie.”

“Charlie” means sustained community transmission. “Delta” indicates severe widespread community transmission.

The Air Force said there are are no immediate additional restrictions in place. However, some may be implemented in the future as determined by the installation leadership.

“In the future and in order to protect operational security as we preserve the nation’s combat readiness, the Air Force and the other military services will only provide total numbers of service members with COVID-19 at the service level,” according to the statement.


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