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92nd MDG on frontlines combating COVID-19

92nd Medical Group Airmen screen a patient prior to their entrance into the 92nd MDG on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 17, 2020. All visitors to the 92nd MDG must go through this screening process to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lawrence Sena)

92nd Medical Group Airmen screen a patient prior to their entrance into the 92nd MDG on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, March 17, 2020. All visitors to the 92nd MDG must go through this screening process to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Lawrence Sena)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

In response to Coronavirus Disease 2019, Team Fairchild’s 92nd Medical Group has implemented several health protection measures to ensure the safety of Airmen and patients. 

 

Precautions taken include a single point of entry into the MDG and a screening process every visitor must go through prior to entering. 

 

“At the MDG, there are single-point-of-entry signs as you come toward it from any direction,” said Lt. Col. DeWayne Lazenby, 92nd MDG chief of medical staff. “There’s a tent you drive your car into where patients are asked screening medical questions to determine risk.” 

 

If a patient presents signs of COVID-19, they will be redirected into a parking lot separate from the one intended for entrance into the MDG. This ensures all measures are taken to reduce the spread of the disease. 

 

“If you have no symptoms or risk factors identified, you will be cleared to one side of the parking lot allowing you entrance into the MDG,” Lazenby said. “If you have potential to be positive, they will direct you for a medic and doctor to ask more questions to gather additional information on the best way forward to help you.”

 

Due to limited resources, the MDG is not currently testing every patient. Symptomatic patients will be routed through the screening process and from there, a doctor or physician assistant will determine whether the patient should be tested.

 

“There’s a calculous with people most severely affected, and most likely to have the biggest impact from a public health perspective,” Lazenby said.

In addition to ensuring patient safety, the COVID-19 screening tent keeps symptomatic patients from going into the MDG to reduce spread. Patients who need to pick up medication at the pharmacy who are showing symptoms may not be allowed into the facility. In that case, there are other options.

 

“We’ll have someone from the pharmacy call them and see if we can send the prescription to so they can do a drive-thru and prevent bringing illness into the building,” Lazenby said.

 

The 92nd MDG main campus pharmacy and COVID-19 testing will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Mondays through Fridays, and the Satellite Pharmacy, located in the Base Exchange, will be open from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.