EAFB shutdown

The West Gate at Edwards Air Force Base, along with the North Gate, is open to those allowed on base under new precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19. The South Gate will be closed to all traffic.

EDWARDS AFB — The first COVID-19 case involving personnel at Edwards Air Force Base has been reported.

An active duty Air Force member assigned to the base was evaluated and is being treated at an off-base medical facility, base officials reported Saturday.

The person does not reside on base and was quarantined at an off-base residence after showing signs of the illness during a vacation.

“This is our first confirmed case,” 412th Test Wing Commander Col. Matthew Higer said. “The continued safety and well-being of all of Team Edwards has been and remains my focus. Leaders at all levels of Team Edwards continue to work with our base medical staff and in close coordination with off-base health care agencies to ensure we mitigate the effects of COVID-19 for the installation, the greater Aerospace Valley, and the nation using established Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Defense Department guidelines.”

The base and Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale were closed to all but mission-essential personnel and base residents on Friday. The South Gate is also closed to all traffic indefinitely as part of the public health measures.

Officials said the base is working closely with the state Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area.

“I continue to encourage and expect all personnel on Edwards AFB to rigorously follow Force Health Protection guidelines that will help to safeguard our community and reduce the impact of a widespread outbreak,” Higer said. “Additionally, all levels of the Department of Defense have issued travel advisories and restrictions that are targeted at flattening the curve of the epidemic.”

Edwards AFB is one of the region’s largest employers, with more than 10,000 personnel typically on base each weekday, including active duty military, civilian Defense Department personnel and contractors.

Edwards also oversees Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, a unique facility with its own airfield and three aerospace contractors, including Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works, Northrop Grumman and The Boeing Co.

It was not clear Friday how the order affected the major contractors themselves at Plant 42.

(1) comment


It isn't just the contractors who would like more info. Retirees are also left hanging. Is the commissary closed? If so, where will those on base get groceries? If open, will retirees be denied entrance to the base? And is the "south gate" the one on 140th St E? Is the Rosamond gate the "west gate"?

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