JBER declares emergency after 7 on base test positive for COVID-19

An F-22 taking off from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson during exercises in 2015. (Photo by Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

Seven people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson testing center, according to a Facebook post on Sunday night.

The Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson installation commander has declared a public health emergency due to an elevated risk on the base for “sustained community transmission,” the post said.

The state reported that there were 32 positive cases of the virus as of Sunday night. Thirteen of those cases are in Anchorage.

Last week, the base reported that one of the Anchorage positives was a JBER airman. It was not clear if that case was related to the others.

UPDATE: 0950, 23 MARCHEligible beneficiaries will still have access to the installation for their critical needs….

Posted by Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson JBER (official) on Sunday, March 22, 2020

Among the measures to tighten control of movement on the post:

  • The Government Hill gate will be closed.
  • The Post Road gate will be closed to private auto traffic.
  • The Arctic Valley gate will be closed on weekends.

All who tested positive are in isolation and their contacts are being traced, the base said.

People on the joint base are restricted to “mission essential travel,” meaning: “work in critical jobs;” buying groceries, health care appointments; dropping off or picking up children from care and getting fresh air “while observing 6-foot social distancing between non-family members,” the post said.

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz ordered Anchorage residents to “hunker down” and limit travel to essential errands on Friday. That order went into effect on Sunday night.

JBER officials have scheduled a virtual town hall meeting about COVID-19 for 2 p.m. Monday.


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