Metro East news briefs

932nd Airlift Wing reservists deploy to New York on April 22 to assist medical staff treating coronavirus patients.  (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force Air Force photo by Christopher Parr)

Scott AFB reservists called to NY COVID-19 care

Approximately 20 reserve citizen airmen from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) 932nd Airlift Wing, stationed at Scott Air Force Base, were mobilized, April 22, to provide health care services to victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most were transported aboard a 932nd Airlift Wing C-40C to assist medical staff in the New York region.

The City of New York is considered the site of the largest outbreak of the coronavirus in the U.S.

Representing various ranks and medical specialties, the 20 reservists mobilized at Scott AFB last month, following two 932nd Airlift Wing personnel, from the wing’s medical squadron and aeromedical staging squadron, who were deployed over previous weeks.

All the reservists were medically screened, prior to deployment, according to the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control guidance, according to a Scott AFB Public Affairs statement. Temperatures of each reservist were taken to ensure health before leaving. Health records were reviewed and updated.

The mobilizations, here last month, were part of the larger deployment of more than 150 Air Force reservists across the nation to support the COVID-19 response.

That latest deployment brings the total of Air Force reservists mobilized for COVID-19 relief efforts to more than 770 nationwide.

After taking off from Scott Air Force Base, the C-40C plane flew to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana to pick up eight more reserve medical airmen from the 307th Bomb Wing.

In all, there are currently more than 54,300 U.S. Department of Defense personnel supporting COVID relief efforts with almost 15,000 deployed in support of response operations.

Nearly 5,000 Navy, Air Force, and Army reservists and 35,750 National Guard professionals are now supporting the COVID-19 response around the nation.

As COVID-19 response requirements for medical personnel, aeromedical evacuation capabilities, logistics experts and other specialties grew, the Air Force Reserve was granted the authority to activate reservists, as needed, under an executive order signed March 27 by President Donald Trump.

The Air Force is asking reservists, willing to volunteer for the COVID-19 effort, to contact their squadron commander, unit deployment manager, Readiness Integration Office Detachment, Functional Area Manager and if, medical, email:, to self-identify their availability.

In the body of the e-mail, reservists should provide name, rank, AFSC, assigned/attached unit, civilian email, address, phone number and indicate if they are currently involved in COVID-19 response in their civilian jobs.


USAF: COVID-19 “rare” at Scott AFB

As the unified transportation service for all branches of the American military, the United States Transportation Command (UTRANSCOM) may be called on to convey military personnel with COVID-19, personnel responding to coronavirus relief efforts (see above), or supplies used in COVID-19 prevention or treatment.

However, confirmed cases of the coronavirus at Scott Air Force Base — headquarters to UTRANSCOM and components like the 375th Air Mobility Wing (375 AMW) and U.S. Army Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) — remains relatively rare, an April 30 UTRANSCOM statement indicates.

A new 20-person Entry Control Point team conducts daily health screenings at newly established central entrances to the base’s USTRANSCOM and SDDC headquarters buildings.

Potentially infected personnel are directed to testing or isolation by a new Trace team, which then cordons off potentially contaminated work environments for cleaning by either an internal on-call unit or the base’s decontamination team.

“… when informed of the rare COVID-19 positive within the USTRANSCOM campus … hazmat-suited group employed foggers and misters to disinfect the infected individual’s workstation,” the USTRANSCOM statement explains.

Since mid-March, the UTRANSCOM custodial staff has been increased from four six; allowing additional, intensified cleaning of lavatories and office areas, as well as continuous specialized sanitizing of frequently touched items such as door handles and stairwell railings.

“By all accounts, not one of the cases within USTRANSCOM facilities have led to another infection,” U.S. Army Col. John Gamby, TRANSCOM/SDDC HQ Response Cell lead, said.

The USTANSCOM statement does not provide specific data on COVID-19 cases in the military, transporting of COVID-19 patients, or the specific number of suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients at Scott AFB.

Pat White, chief of the Facilities Management and Safety office, U.S. Transportation
Command at Scott Air Force Base, stocks the organization’s COVID-19 cleaning supply
shed. In mid-March, the combatant command implemented enhanced COVID-19
disinfection measures, including increased custodial staff in its eight on-base facilities, to protect personnel and prevent the virus’ spread. (Photo by Rob Wieland, USTRANSCOM/PA)

Schedules advanced for four highway projects

The East-West Gateway Council of Government (EWG) Board of Directors, April 29, effectively green-lit Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) plans to begin four major Metro East highway projects during fiscal year 2020 — a year to two years earlier than originally scheduled.

They are:

  • Repairs and pavement overlays on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 55/64 collector distributor lanes in the Poplar Street Bridge complex;
  • Resurfacing and bridge deck repairs along a 2.5 mile stretch of Interstate 70, east of the Interstate 55/Interstate 270 interchange;
  • Reconstruction and reconfiguration of the Interstate 270 interchange at Illinois Route 111, and;
  • Resurfacing and patching along Illinois Route 3/Illinois Route 111/Homer Adams;
  • and Parkway, from Alby Street to Broadway.

The I-70 project was originally to take place in fiscal year 2022. The other three projects were moved up from fiscal year 2021.

Exact start dates were not included in materials prepared for the EWG board meeting.

The EWG is the federally recognized regional planning entity for the St. Louis area, charged with – among other responsibilities – recommended public works projects for federal funding.

EWG board-approval was required for changes in the schedules for the four highway projects because all four are funded primarily with federal dollars.

In conjunction with the schedule changes, the board also approved a half million dollar increase in the projected cost of the Poplar Street Bridge work — to $35.4 million — and $2.9 million increase in the projected cost of the I-70 project.

Madison County streams committee meetings

In addition to monthly meetings of the full Madison County Board, meetings of the county’s various board committees are now available live online at:

To hear audio of the meeting, tap “UNMUTE” on the live stream screen, county officials advise.

They also advise the interested public to join the live stream five minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

County officials report a substantial citizen to an initial week of livestreaming last month.

Comments and questions are accepted at teleconferenced county committee meetings.  However, they must be submitted 24 hours prior to the meeting to be part of the official record.

Comments or questions can be submitted online — with commenter’s first and last name, email, and county committee name required — at


Monroe County courthouse ‘partially’ reopens

The Monroe County Courthouse, on April 27, became the first county or local government facility in Metro East, and likely in the St. Louis area, to reopen to the public, following the onset of the COVID-19   will be able to do so beginning April 27.

At least “partially,” according to County Clerk Jonathan McLean (R).

Citizens are still being asked to conduct business with the county by phone whenever possible.

New guidelines are in effect for the conducting of business with the county clerk’s office at the downtown Waterloo courthouse.

Scheduled appointments are encouraged, or in some cases, necessary, according to McLean

McLean asks those, needing to conduct business with his office’s services, to call 939-8681, ext. 302, to determine the best way to complete the work.