USAG Ansbach COVID team plays crucial role in fighting pandemic

ANSBACH, Germany – At the beginning of the pandemic U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach assembled a COVID response team from the S3/5/7 Operations to answer the sudden needs that had to be addressed.

From distributing analytics to the command group and the community, to tracking positive cases, Restriction of Movement (ROM), contact tracing, recoveries and community-wide vaccinations, the COVID team stepped into a world they had never been in before and continue to perform beyond expectations.

It was an all-hands-on-deck affair from the COVID team and volunteers working alongside the Ansbach Army Health Clinic and tenant units in coordinating the logistics to organize the vaccine drives.

“We were provided a DOD population schema that broke down the prioritization of who would be vaccinated first and in what order,” said Dennis Mathis, USAG Ansbach security specialist and a member of the COVID team.

The COVID team took on the difficult task of compiling a list of everyone stationed at Ansbach and sorting every individual for the tiered vaccine system.

“The effort put on by the COVID team really was what led the way to having successful vaccine drives moving forward. It allowed us to focus solely on administering the vaccines,” said Maj. Ernestina dela Pena, chief nurse and interim commander at the Ansbach Army Health Clinic.

In April 2021, a big step was taken when the all new DHA Appointing Portal was implemented and the former tiered system was done away with. This translated to everyone immediately having access to schedule their vaccine appointment as soon as a date became available, without any restrictions on who could get the shot.

“Appointments filled up as soon as they became available and every vaccine drive thereafter was full,” said Mathis as he spoke on how USAG Ansbach was on track to getting the community fully protected from COVID-19.

From securing an appropriate facility that could handle the amount of doses being given that day, to the COVID team also running the logistics side of the operation during the drives. The team and volunteers took care of everything they could to assist the Ansbach Army Health Clinic in getting as many vaccination doses administered as possible.

“The immense amount of coordination and effort put on by the Ansbach Army Health Clinic and the USAG Ansbach COVID team highlights just what a community is capable of when they come together to work toward a common goal,” said dela Pena referencing the working relationship that had been built between the COVID team and the Ansbach Army Health Clinic.

“I’m proud of our team and everything that they were able to and continue to achieve. They stepped up and made a difference when the community needed them,” said Brian Crowley, USAG Ansbach director of S3/5/7.

The combined effort put on by the COVID team and the Ansbach Army Health Clinic will have vaccinations at USAG Ansbach reach over 70% of the population by the first week of June, enhancing the overall protection of the entire community.

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