WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Personnel at Wright Patterson Air Force Base who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks, according to a situation update by base leadership last week.
In a Facebook live town hall on May 19, installation commander Col. Patrick Miller laid out Wright-Patterson’s revised mask policy, stating that fully vaccinated personnel – meaning two weeks have passed since their last dose – are no longer required to wear a mask indoors or outdoors on the installation, effective immediately.
Installation personnel are not entirely out of the woods yet, however. Miller addressed the recent announcements regarding the state of Ohio health orders, emphasizing that Ohio and Wright-Patterson are two different entities.
“Come 2 June, the state of Ohio lifts all mask requirements,” Miller said. “Wright-Patterson, as directed by the Department of Defense and the Air Force, we will continue to wear masks if you are not vaccinated.”
Currently, those visiting the base must still wear masks in certain facilities, including the Medical Center, the Commissary, finance and legal offices, all FSS facilities, the chaplain and the fire department. Other areas, including the AAFES Main Exchange, logistics readiness, and pass and ID no longer require masks.
Updated Department of Defense protocol was issued May 13.
COVID statistics for the state of Ohio have been declining for six weeks, according to Lt. Col. (Dr.) Michael Crowder, a trend that is mirrored by the installation’s surrounding four counties. According to Col. Christian Lyons, commander of the 88th Medical Group, Wright-Patt has a overall vaccination population of 43 percent, including 62 percent among active-duty service members.
Miller also welcomed back the 200 medics that had been deployed to Detroit to help in the national vaccination effort. Members of the 88th Medical Group were deployed in March, as part of a FEMA-led Community Vaccination Clinic at Ford Field in Detroit.
During their deployment, Wright-Patterson’s “mighty medics” administered over 244,000 vaccinations, Miller said.
“That is strengthening America’s armor in this fight against COVID,” he added.
Wright-Patt remains in Health Protection Condition (HPCon) Bravo, and will do so until the Air Force updates its own policies.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.