COVID-19 update: message from 92nd ARW commander

  • Published
  • By 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

March 23, 2020

Team Fairchild,

Consistent with Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order issued for Washington State earlier tonight, Fairchild Air Force Base is increasing its Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Level from Bravo to Charlie.


What does this mean for us? Effective 24 March at 1500, several additional protective measures will be put in place:

-The Child Development Center will be available for those expected to report for duty.


- Base access is limited to ID card holders and mission essential personnel. Visitor access is restricted for non-DoD ID cardholders. Sponsors requesting access for non-DoD ID cardholders must request an exception to policy from the installation commander through their chain of command. Scheduled deliveries to base will continue with drivers screened via questionnaire upon entry to base.


- The Fairchild AFB Commissary and Exchange will remain open.


- The 92 MDG will remain open with designated entry points and adjusted hours as follows: MDG campus open from 0730-1130 Monday through Friday (COVID-19 testing and main pharmacy); Satellite pharmacy open from 1330-1630 Monday through Friday (Effective 25 March).


- Outdoor activities such as exercising, walking or running are permitted on base as long as proper social distancing is maintained.


- Measures are directed at limiting movement, increasing hygiene and reducing exposure risk.


- Please continue to refer to the Fairchild AFB Return To the Duty Flowchart (dated 20 March 2020) for help in determining the correct actions to take following either symptoms of, or exposure to, COVID-19.


Airmen and their families will be asked to stay at home in-line with Governor Inslee’s guidance. Exceptions include obtaining food, care of a relative or family member, seeking necessary health care, and traveling to a mission-essential job. Going outside to exercise and enjoy fresh air is encouraged for mental and physical well-being, as long as a minimum six feet of social distancing is maintained.


In the words of Col Salmi, “As we’ve implemented previous measures to prevent and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 across our base community, the care and support across Team Fairchild has been simply outstanding. Please continue your sharp focus as we move into a new “normal” in the days and weeks ahead. Together we will work to “Flatten the Curve,” and emerge from this difficult situation a stronger, more resilient force.”


March 16, 2020

Team Fairchild,


I wanted to reach out to you personally to let you know that today we had an active-duty Airman test positive for COVID-19. The individual remains in isolation at their off-base residence and has received care from the 92 MDG.  Local health officials in Spokane have been notified as well.


In response to this, and along with the state of emergency declared today by Spokane County, I have also declared a Public Health Emergency for Fairchild AFB.  This emergency declaration allows expanded authorities to best protect our base community as we continue to mitigate the further effects of this national and global pandemic. 


Furthermore, we continue our efforts to transition the base to a long-term sustainment posture that best balances our number priority—the safety of you and your families—with necessary mission requirements.  As an installation, our teams remain aligned and our subject matter experts are continuously monitoring the situation while working closely with regional medical agencies to coordinate overall efforts.


We are committed to providing the best possible information through both public affairs and command channels and we appreciate your incredible efforts as we collectively work through these dynamic and challenging times.  Thank you!

- Col Salmi


March 16, 2020
See below for 92nd Air Refueling Wing Policy Guidance covering domestic travel for 92nd ARW personnel and families. I ask each of you to read and be familiar with its contents, in particular the stop movement guidance for all government-funded travel (PCS or TDY). The broader Department of Defense policy is included as an attachment as well.

Additionally, leave is restricted to the local area defined as a 150-mile radius originating from Fairchild AFB, not to include Canada. Within this area members are reminded to adhere to Centers For Disease Control protocols for social distancing, to include avoiding large gatherings, as well as sound personal hygiene practices.

92nd ARW Local Area Depiction

92nd ARW Stop Movement Guidance

March 13, 2020

While COVID-19 transmission risk remains low with no confirmed cases in Spokane County, we are in close coordination with state, regional and local health officials as well as other community partners to ensure our response efforts are coordinated. To safeguard our Total Force Airmen and their families, below are several proactive measures we will take to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and to best protect our base community. Please note this is a rapidly evolving and dynamic situation so expect updates and additions to follow:

  • DoD Directed PCS and Travel Restrictions

    • Effective Friday, 13 March, the Secretary of Defense has directed all DoD uniformed personnel, civilian personnel and family members traveling to, from, or through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices Level 3 (COVID-19) designated locations to stop movement for the next 60 days. This includes all forms of official travel, including PCS, TDYs and government-funded leave. For DoD uniformed personnel, this policy also includes personal leave and other non-official travel.

    • DoD uniformed personnel are not authorized non-official travel to locations that have declared a public health emergency. In Washington State, this includes the Seattle area.

    • Effective 13 March, and 60 days after, concurrent official travel for family members of DoD uniformed personnel and civilian personnel is denied to CDC Travel Health Notices Level 2 designated locations.


  •  New Fairchild ID Card Scanning Policy

    • Effective Tuesday, 17 March, Fairchild Security Forces will institute a new ID Card scanning policy at the gates. As you enter the gate please hold onto your card and show both the front of the ID, then reverse the ID and show the barcode on the back to the gate personnel. The guard will then scan the ID and allow entrance to the installation. This process must be repeated for every passenger in the vehicle and is intended to help reduce the amount of personal contact.



  •  Fairchild Child and Youth Programs (CYP) Exclusion Policy Changes

    • Will continue educating children and youth on proper hygiene methods.

    • Will sanitize toys, materials and shelves at least twice daily.

    • The School Age Care school bus will be sanitized after each use.

    • Updated Exclusion Policy: To stay lock-step with our community, children and youth that don’t attend CYP programs due to fever and respiratory issues should not return to the program (CDC, FCC, SAC, and Preteen/Teen Center) until they have been fever-free for 72 hours.


  • Commander Authority to Grant Extended Sick Leave and Quarantine

    • Commanders will now be authorized to grant a 72-hours pass for sick Active Duty members who are displaying symptoms of coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Members displaying these symptoms still must call the 92d Medical Group Appointment line at (509) 247-2361 for medical advice and instructions. Supervisors still retain the authority to grant a 24-hour pass for sick members.

    • Commanders are authorized to direct uniformed service members to self-quarantine for 14 days if members meet eligible criteria. These criteria include:

      • Displaying symptoms including coughing, fever, and shortness of breath

      • Any international travel within the last 14 days, and travel within the United States to counties or states that have declared public health emergencies

      • Quarantine includes staying at home and not going out in public for 14 days.




  • Personal and Environmental Hygiene

    • In addition to continuing proper hand-washing, covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when sick, keep your home and work environments hygienic by cleaning desks, conference tables, cell phones, work phones, doorknobs, keyboards, handrails and more frequently.



  • Limit Unnecessary Personal Contact

    • When greeting others, use your words, not your hands! Avoid shaking hands, hugging, and standing within close proximity of others, limit large group gatherings, and consider if some meetings can be accomplished via phone or email



  • Limit Large-Group Events

    • The health and safety of our Fairchild community will always be our top priority. While our community events promote resiliency and camaraderie, there will be some changes instituted on a case-by-case basis:

      • We will postpone special community events such as conferences, dances, tournaments, etc. until further notice. We will publicize the listing once finalized and this will be re-evaluated on a rolling 30-day basis.

      • Non mission-essential wing events such as promotion ceremonies, ALS graduations, etc. will still be conducted but virtual means will be used for audience participation (social media)

      • Mission-essential meetings and wing events will be restricted to fewer than 250 people with screening at the door.

      • We encourage conducting meetings via teleconference, email, etc. when possible. If face-to-face meetings must be conducted, maintain six feet of personal space.


Base leadership and subject matter experts remain actively engaged on this issue and will continue providing updates as they become available, especially given its dynamic nature. Please also consult the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus website at for the latest updates on this situation as well as for additional facts about the virus and its prevention.