March 13, 2020: Message from the Wing Commander, COVID-19

13 March 2020

To our Defence Team and families of 4 Wing Cold Lake,

The recent spread of the COVID-19 virus has rapidly become a serious concern for our Defence Team, their families, and members of the local Cold Lake community. As a leader in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), I have a responsibility to protect our members and their families during this time of uncertainty. The health, safety and well-being of our team is my primary concern.

The mission of 4 Wing Cold Lake is critical to the defence and security of Canada. The emergence of COVID-19 has not changed our mission, nor our commitment to protecting Canadians. During this evolving crisis, the base will remain open and 4 Wing will continue to operate in support of our critical mission. That said, we must take measures to ensure that the COVID-19 virus does not inhibit our ability to operate. There are several ways that the base will ensure the continuity of our operations.

First, in order to protect our members, their families, and the local community as well as help restrict the potential spread of COVID-19, many of our personnel will be directed to conduct work from home in the coming weeks. This protocol is in line with direction from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Department of National Defence’s Deputy Minister and the Canadian Armed Forces. Additionally, effective 14 March, all Personnel Support Programs services will be suspended until further notice. Unfortunately this includes the closure of the Col J.J. Parr Sports Centre. In addition, the Military Family Resource Centre Society are postponing all activities until further notice. Daycare and Out Of School Care services will be continued. The impact of these difficult decisions on our local community is not lost on me.

4 Wing currently has a significant number of members who are participating in training exercises in the United States and a smaller number of personnel who are on training, operations, or leave in other areas of the World. All members returning from International travel will be directed to enter into a 14 day period of self-isolation per the Government of Canada’s travel recommendations. This isolation can take place in the member’s home or, if the member feels that they are a health risk to vulnerable family members, they are welcome to stay at 4 Wing in a designated accommodations facility.

We remain cognizant of the low likelihood of health risks in our region. Our cautious approach is due to the importance of our mission, and our imperative to continue operations regardless of our challenges. The adopted precautionary safety measures are intended to help protect our members, their families and the local community by reducing opportunities for the virus to spread. Our best practices continue to include thorough hand washing, social distancing when possible, and early self-identification of COVID-19 symptoms.

In times of crisis one of our enemies is the numerous, inaccurate rumours that permeate social media and discussions at the coffee shop. My commitment to you is to provide regular updates as the situation develops with an emphasis on timely, accurate, and transparent news. Members are encouraged to contact their chain of command if they have any questions or concerns.

Additional information on COVID-19 can be found by calling the PHAC info line or website: 1-833-784-4397, or at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html.

For CAF members seeking mental health services, please report to 22 Canadian Forces Health Services, 4 Wing Duty Chaplain, or after hours call the Canadian Forces Member Assistance Plan (CFMAP) at 1-800-268-7708.

For family members seeking mental health services, please call CFMAP at 1-800-268-7708 or the Family Information Line at 1-800-866-4546.

I look forward to providing you with more information soon and hope everyone stays healthy.

Colonel Dave Moar,
Commander, 4 Wing Cold Lake

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