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Stay vigilant in protecting against COVID-19, base commander urges

Isabelle Bashir, employee at Child Development Center, uses a weight machine May 20, 2020 at the Warrior Fitness and Wellness Center located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

Isabelle Bashir, employee at Child Development Center, uses a weight machine at the Warrior Fitness and Wellness Center located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The installation commander is reminding everyone to wear masks both on and off base, and to stay vigilant in protecting against the coronavirus. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah --

With confirmed coronavirus cases on the rise in Utah, the installation commander continues to encourage personnel to stay vigilant, including the wearing face coverings both on- and off-base.

On Tuesday, the Beehive State confirmed 394 more cases of the novel coronavirus out of 2,964 tests given — a 13.3% positive rate, according to the Utah Department of Health. The state’s total cases since the pandemic began has risen to 18,300 of 302,276 tested, for an overall positive rate of 6.1%.

"This is not a time to let our guard down," said Col. Jon Eberlan, 75th Air Base Wing Commander. “Wearing face coverings is an important part of our infection control strategy to help prevent the spread and should be worn whether you’re on or off base.”

People are currently required to wear face coverings in public areas and work centers on base when six-feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. In addition, many buildings require face coverings to be worn while in the facility regardless of social distancing.

Eberlan is encouraging additional mitigation measures across the installation, including telework, disinfection plans, and strict hygiene such as no hand-shaking, frequent hand washing, and cleaning of common-use items.

To reduce the risk of catching or spreading illness, personnel should stay home if feeling sick, even if symptoms are mild. Do not go to work, school or public places, and avoid public transportation. If symptoms are severe or you feel like you need medical care, contact a health care provider.

To drive home the message of the importance of wearing masks, several different health care organizations in Utah are teaming together for a new public awareness campaign that urges people to wear them, #MaskUpUtah. Utahns can request masks from the state at coronavirus.utah.gov/mask.

For the latest information and guidance on COVID-19, visit www.hill.af.mil/coronavirus.