Dover Air Force base keeps humming along as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread.
However, it is not business as usual.
A Shelter in Place order will take effect at the base Tuesday at 8:00 a.m., the same time of a statewide order issued by Governor John Carney. Personnel must shelter in place unless they are carrying out important tasks such as obtaining groceries or prescription medications or seeking health care. Dover AFB personnel are permitted to take part in outdoor activities such as walking or running, as are all Delawareans.
"While I know these measures provide a great deal of inconvenience, they are the safest course of action to ensure COVID-19 spread is limited and Team Dover remains safe," 436th Airlift Wing commander Col. Matthew Jones said. "I mirror what Governor Carney said. The quicker we all abide by these provisions, the quicker we can get past this issue."
Recently, the base implemented reporting procedures for mission-essential only personnel. 436th Airlift Wing Technical Sergeant Charles Broadway said everyone else was being directed to tele-commute, although decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
On-base gatherings of ten or more people have been canceled until May 15th unless they are deemed to be mission-essential. Visitation to Dover Air Force Base is also more heavily restricted.
During all of this, personnel continue to carry out the essential mission of the base: rapid global mobility.
"That's what we are here to do and that's what we're continuing to do," Broadway said. "That mission does not stop. We're bringing in the personnel that the commanders feel they need to accomplish that mission."