A Safe Return to Vermont: Airmen Test Negative for COVID-19

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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. – All 158th Fighter Wing members who deployed for training last month to Florida have tested negative for COVID-19.

Upon their return from last month’s deployment to a Weapons System Evaluation Program (WSEP) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., members of the Vermont Air National Guard were tested for COVID-19.

In addition to this testing, the 158th Fighter Wing follows strict Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Vermont Department of Health risk mitigation measures, including screening, restriction of movement, social distancing, and mask wearing.

"The Vermont Air National Guard has been working closely with the Vermont Department of Health since the beginning of the COVID outbreak, to include minimizing impact of positive COVID cases on base, and teaming up to provide contact tracing for those positive cases,” said Lt. Col. Jason Galipeau, medical administrative officer assigned to the 158th Medical Group, Vermont Air National Guard.

Additionally, the Vermont Air National Guard partnered with the Vermont Department of Health to offer proactive COVID-19 “surveillance testing” for asymptomatic Airmen and their families.

“In March we will have over 400 Vermont Air National Guard members fully vaccinated,” Galipeau said.  “Overall, the goal is to protect our Airmen and mission at the 158th Fighter Wing, and surveillance testing is just another tool for commanders to maintain continuity of operations amidst the pandemic.”