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Robins Air Force Base announces first confirmed case of COVID-19, declares public health emergency

A Team Robins civilian has a confirmed case of coronavirus.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The Robins Air Force Base announced Saturday a Team Robins civilian has a confirmed case of coronavirus.

The release says the individual is being evaluated by health care professionals.

“This is our first confirmed case of a base affiliated member,” Col. Brian Moore, Robins Installation Commander, said in a release. “The continued safety and well-being of Team Robins is my top priority. We are working with our base medical staff and off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

Robins also declared a public health emergency Saturday.

President and CEO of 21st Century Partnership Chrissy Miner says it is a base public health emergency to restrict movement to control the spread, prioritize functions as may be necessary, and hold people accountable to take health measures serious.

The release says the agency is working closely with the Georgia Department of Health to coordinate a prevention and response plan.

The person has not been at work for a week for "personal reasons," according to the release.

"Public health teams are working together to trace previous contact/exposure and quarantine is applicable," Moore said.

The unit will notify anyone who has potentially been affected, according to the release. 

Miner says based on the high number of people that work at Robins, there was a high likelihood someone would contract the virus.

Base leaders have been asking people to self-identify if they traveled to to a region with a COVID-19 risk, and self-quarantine, Miner says. 

Leaders on the base have urged the workforce to start telework, if possible. Employees that can not do their job remotely and any employees that are considered higher-risk have multiple leave options available to them to ensure their safety, she says.

Miner says Robins has been flexible with the workforce and will work with employees to protect their health and safety. 

On Monday morning, work at Robins will continue as normal.

The North Central Health District says the best way to protect against COVID-19 is to practice germ prevention:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water a not available, us an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then dispose of the tissue. If a tissue is not available, use the inside of your elbow to cover yourself.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect high-touch objects and surfaces.

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FACTS NOT FEAR | At 13WMAZ, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the coronavirus. To see our full coverage, visit our site section here: www.13wmaz.com/Coronavirus.