JBLE announces restrictions to base access
By Col. Clint Ross 633rd Air Base Wing
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va., March 30, 2020 —
Effective 1 April, JBLE will further limit installation access for Langley Air Force Base and Fort Eustis.
This action is consistent with both the JBLE Public Health Emergency declaration issued on March 27th, and Governor Northam’s Stay-At-Home order issued on March 30th. The full text of Governor Northam’s executive order, including all restrictions and exemptions, can be found at https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-55-Temporary-Stay-at-Home-Order-Due-to-Novel-Coronavirus-(COVID-19).pdf
These restrictions are necessary to protect the health and safety of all personnel assigned to JBLE, while simultaneously maintaining operational readiness. These restrictions will also reduce the risk for COVID-19 exposure to all who work or live on JBLE.
Only those individuals who are deemed mission-critical will be allowed daily access to the installation. Until further notice, all other personnel, to include Retirees and VHIC card holders and retiree dependents, are only allowed entry on Monday and Tuesday.
Mission-critical personnel include all active duty, guard, reserve, government civilian and contractors identified by the appropriate supervisor or unit commander. Additionally, the following categories of personnel are exempt from restrictions:
1) Active duty, reserve, guard personnel, and their dependents with ID cards seeking essential installation support services (i.e. Healthcare, Commissary, BX/PX, Exchange Mart).
2) Any beneficiary (to include Retirees) with a previously scheduled appointment with medical, dental or other base service provider (i.e. appointment for a new ID Card).
3) Residents of Hunt Housing Community and Balfour Beatty Community as well as their visitors who possess a base pass. New passes will only be issued with unit commander/director or above approval.
4) Approved residents of Bethel Recreational Area (FAMCAMP), Fort Eustis Outdoor Recreation RV Park and Lodging/TLF.
5) United States Postal Service, UPS, Amazon, Grocery Delivery Services (Instacart) and other previously authorized official delivery services will continue. Fast food deliveries will not be allowed access to the base. Personnel can retrieve fast food deliveries from the Visitor Control Center.
Retirees and their families who are TRICARE beneficiaries and are unable to pick up prescriptions on the designated days, may use network pharmacies for urgent needs. Members are also highly encouraged to take advantage of the TRICARE mail order pharmacy and can call 1-877-363-1303 to transfer their prescription and speak to a pharmacist 24/7.
This situation is serious and rapidly changing, so these measures, while inconvenient, are being implemented to prevent unnecessary risk. Our service members and their families, live, work and thrive here, and we’re treating this invisible threat like any other enemy. Our leadership team is doing everything we can to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 across the Peninsula. Alongside our community partners we have a unified effort to combat this virus both inside and outside the gates.
Langley Hospital and McDonald Army Health Center medical professionals are standing by to answer your COVID-19 questions and concerns. Please call the 633 MDG COVID-19 Information Line at (757) 764-0018 seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. or the Military Health System Nurse Line at 1-800-TRICARE.
On Jan. 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern for the 2019 novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. On Jan. 31, 2020, the secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the United States and announced new measures to prevent the spread of COVID- 19. The current epidemic, which originated in mainland China, has demonstrated the capacity of COVID-19 to spread globally. While supporting other government agencies’ response to the COVID-19 threat, the Department of the Air Force is responding appropriately to protect the health of the force and maintain operational readiness.
In an effort to reduce the potential spread of coronavirus in our community, the 633d Medical Group continues to do everything possible to take care of your medical needs without you having to come into the hospital. Supporting this effort to protect patients and staff, effective 25 March, our out-patient clinic staff will conduct virtual appointments, via telephone, and if your needs require a face-to-face visit, your clinical team will coordinate with you so that you can be seen as quickly and safely as possible. When you call for an appointment through the Hampton Roads Appointment Line (866-645-4584), or if you book your appointment through Tricare On-line (www.tricareonline.com), you will be booking into a virtual appointment. Please note that the Flight Medicine Clinic is currently reviewing their operations, and information on any changes will be announced as soon as they are final; in the meantime, Flight Medicine patients should continue to access the clinic as they normally do.
Also effective 25 March, for our active duty patients enrolled to the Operational Medicine Clinic (OMC), you will be screened in the same manner, for both acute and chronic concerns. This means there is no more walk-in sick call. Additionally, the OMC will be temporarily relocated to the Dermatology Clinic, located across from the Flight Medicine and the Allergy Clinics.
For any specific COVID-related concerns, please call 757-764-0018. We also encourage you to utilize Telephone Secure Messaging options: Go to TOL website, https://app.tolsecuremessaging.com/ and use the username and password or a CAC enabled system to gain access from home, where you can send and receive messages with your Primary Care Team. You can also continue to utilize the Nurse Advice Line 24/7, Medical Advice 1-800-TRICARE, Option 1.
The CDC is a great resource for information related to COVID-19, including a self-checker, which can be found at website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html. Other on-line resources include the Federal Emergency Management Agency at website: https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus, and the Virginia Department of Health at website: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/.
Langley Hospital COVID-19 drive-thru screening will be available outside of the Pharmacy and Emergency Department.
Please call the information line at (757)-764-0018 PRIOR to going for screening if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19.
MDG will have tents set up in the parking lot near the entrance area to the Langley Hospital to prep for increased screenings. This is merely a preventative measure to expand available space in the hospital waiting areas.
FAMILY HEALTH CLINIC/OPERATIONAL MEDICINE CLINIC and ANY CLINICS NOT LISTED: If you have a future appointment scheduled already, and you have not been called, your appointment will take place, If you would like to reschedule please call the appointment line or use Secure Messaging to discuss with your team.
If you have a new acute issue you will be seen or scheduled for a virtual appointment to address this issue.
AUDIOLOGY CLINIC: Continue to see deployment, separation/retirement, and urgent (SUDDEN change in hearing/tinnitus) audiograms only. Patients are highly encouraged to reschedule non-urgent vestibular evaluations and hearing aid fittings/checks at 764-3260.
CARDIOLOGY: Currently closed for new appointments do to a manning issue. If you have a future appointment, the clinic will call to update you on your appointment status.
CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC: Normal Operations, no family members allowed in patient care waiting room or treatment room.
DENTAL SQUADRON: Currently at Tier 4 ops: Providing care for dental emergencies and deployment exams ONLY. Oral surgery continues to see some dental class 3 and non-dental class 3 (elective) surgeries-outpatient surgery only (not in O.R., unless true dental emergency).
FLIGHT MEDICINE CLINIC: Services will be limited to mission related care only starting Monday, 23 March until further notice. Please see below for a list of services still offered at Flight Medicine.
PEDIATRICS: Continue to see all newborns, 2 week, and 2 month well child’s as previously scheduled. Clinic highly encourages these patients get their immunizations.
For all acute appointments, call for an appointment through the appointment line, a Provider is calling to talk directly to parent to see if in-person visit is required or if virtual appointment can address needs.
PHYSICAL THERAPY: Services will be limited to post-operative care only starting Monday, 23 March until further notice
In an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, McDonald Army Health Center has initiated the maximum use of Virtual House Call appointments. The Virtual House Call will be an appointment over the telephone with your assigned primary care provider and nursing team. This type of appointment will be conducted by phone and will allow the provider to assess your condition and make treatment decisions without the need for a face-to-face encounter. This will also comply with the need for social distancing as there will be no need for a check-in process and time spent in the waiting room.
Please continue to use the Hampton Roads Appointment Center line at 1-866-645-4584 to book an appointment.
For more information on COVID-19, including a self-checker, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html.
VISITING LANGLEY HOSPITAL OR OTHER MEDICAL FACILITIES FOR CONCERNS ABOUT COVID-19
633 Medical Group is doing everything possible to take care of your medical needs without you having to come into the hospital. With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are looking at ways to decrease the infection risk.
Here are a couple of options for you to get care without coming into the Medical Treatment Facility;
1. For COVID-19 Information, Call (757)764-0018
2. Utilize your Telephone Secure Messaging options: Go to TOL website, https://app.tolsecuremessaging.com/ and use the username and password or a CAC enabled system to gain access from home, here you can send and receive messages with your Primary Care Team
3. Nurse Advice Line 24/7
Medical Advice 1-800-TRICARE Option 1
4. Prescriptions: TRICARE's prescriptions are managed through the pharmacy contractor, Express Scripts. https://militaryrx.express-scripts.com/
Call (877)363-1303 – Please be aware there is a small co-pay.
DO VISIT THE HOSPITAL IF:
VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL IS NOT RECOMMEND CURRENTLY FOR;
For more information about COVID-19 go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov or the Virginia Department of Health at vdh.virginia.gov.
To continue care for our service members and their families, the following information is an update to operational guidelines and considerations amidst the COVID-19 situation.
LAFB Child Development Center:
- If parents wish to keep their children at home for social distancing, or if parents are unable to use child care due to circumstances related to COVID-19, children will NOT lose their child care space and they will NOT be charged fees.
- Child care credit (no cash transactions) will be applied for the billing cycle starting on 15 March for anyone who meets the above criteria. Any member impacted prior to this date should call their respective program.
• CDC – 757-764-3585
• SAC – 757-225-2606
Ft Eustis Child Development Centers:
- If parents wish to keep their children at home for social distancing, or if parents are unable to use child care due to circumstances related to COVID-19, children will NOT lose their child care space and they will NOT be charged fees.
- Any member impacted should call their respective program to submit a Hardship Waiver.
• Madison CDC - (757) 878-3294 or (757) 878-4000
• Pershing CDC - (757) 878-4723 or (757) 878-3072
We understand there may be some differences in the guidelines above. If you have further questions regarding your child's care or regarding finances, please use the contact numbers provided to get the most direct answer to your questions.
Reliable and safe childcare is essential to both our members, and our mission here at JBLE. During these times, the safety and welfare of our military families remains a top priority. We will continue to exercise daily COVID-19 screening protocols and enhanced sanitization measures in all of our child and youth programs. The options above allow families to make the decision on what is best for them. Thank you for your patience as we work together to flatten the curve.
Crossbow Dining Facility: Open as usual but for To-Go only
Raptor Café: Open as usual but for To-Go only
Langley Club: Closed Effective 3/14
Child Development Centers/Childcare: Normal operating hours
Family Child Care: Normal operations
School Age Care: 0600-1800
Youth Programs (Open Recreation): 1500-1900
Youth Sports: Cancelled effective 3/14
Golf Course: Closed effective 3/14
Bowling Center: Closed effective 3/14
Community Center/ ITT: Closed effective 3/14
King Street Gate: Closed effective 3/16
Langley Thrift Shop: Closed, will reopen 28 April.
Library: Closed effective 3/14
Shellbank Fitness Center: Closed effective 3/14
ACC Fitness Center: Closed Effective 3/14
Auto Hobby Shop: Closed effective 3/14
ALS: Closed effective 3/14
Marina: Closed effective 3/14
Langley BX, Limits to some items may apply: 0900-1700 Mon-Sat
Langley Food Court
Bethel Express: Normal Business Hours
Military Clothing Sales: Normal Business Hours
Langley Express: Normal Business Hours
Langley MCS: 10a.m. - 3 p.m. Mon - Fri
Commissary Hours: Mon - Fri: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat: 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.**100% ID check conducted. Current military ID card holders only, no escorts. Be prepared to limit the quantity of supplies you buy. Access to the commissary is restricted as follows. DoD Civilians are not allowed access to commissary unless as a retiree (Monday-Tuesday)
Monday - Tuesday : Retirees and their Dependents, VHIC Card Holders, AD and Dependents (Although encouraged to shop on Wed - Sun )
Wednesday - Sunday : Active duty and dependents
Chapel Services: All worship services at Langley and Bethel Chapel are suspended for this weekend. Please check the Langley Chapel Facebook Page for updates (JBLE Langley AFB Chapel). Chaplain Ayers will provide a Facebook Live Protestant Service Sunday morning at 0900 for those who would like to tune in.
FINANCE CUSTOMER SERVICE: For urgent financial matters please call 764-3333/3183 between the hours of 0900-1500 or email 633CPTS.firstname.lastname@example.org
WAPS/Promotion Testing : canceled until further notice
Customer Service (CAC ID): By appt only (no walk ins accepted)
Outdoor Recreation: Closed effective 3/14
Legal Assistance: Emergency appointments only (757) 225-6107
Tax Center: Closed
OSI FOREIGN TRAVEL BRIEFING: Thursdays at 8 AM in the Security Forces Training Classroom. Classroom training is only for individuals with TS, SCI, or SAP clearance. Other personnel may receive training online at https://www.my.af.mil/gcssaf/USAF/ep/globalTab.do?channelPageld=s88B4F00B2D70DF4E012DBE0975FE0BAB
CDC: Open Normal Hours
FCC: Open Normal Hours
School Age Programs: Open Normal Hours
Youth Center: Closed as of 3/16
Youth Sports: All activities cancelled as of 3/13
Resolute DFAC: Open Normal Hours (will transition to Take-out only next week)
Warrior Café: Open Normal Hours (AIT Students Only)
Ft Eustis Club: Closed as of 3/16
MCAHC Bistro: Open Normal Hours
Pines Golf Course: Open Normal Hours; restaurant closed(all tournaments cancelled through March 31)
Bowling Center: Closed (AIT Student use only)
Community Rec Center: will be closed effective 20 MAR at 6 PM.
ITT : Closed
Eustis Thrift Shop: Closed
Anderson Field House: will be closed effective 20 MAR at 6 PM.
McClellan Field House: will be closed effective 20 MAR at 6 PM.
AAFES Barber Shop and Beauty Salon: Closed
Aquatics Center Adventure Pool: Closed
Aquatics Center Lap Pool: Open Normal Hours
Auto Craft Shop: Open Normal Hours
Auto Repair: Open Normal Hours
Soldier Processing Center: Open Normal Hours, Appointment Only (no Walk-ins)
Parent Central: Open, Appointment Only
ACS: Open, Appointment Only
ODR Equipment Rental: Open
ODR Mini Park: Closed
ODR RV Campground: Check-In suspended effective 3/16; No new reservations accepted with check-in date prior to 11 May 20 (OSD Stop Move Date)
ODR Cabin: Check-In suspended effective 3/16; No new reservations accepted with check-in date prior to 11 May 20 (OSD Stop Move Date)
GSI: Check-In suspended effective 3/16; No new reservations accepted with check-in date prior to 11 May 20 (OSD Stop Move Date)
Groninger Library: Closed
Military Clothing Sales: Normal Business Hours
Monday - Tuesday : Retirees and their Dependents, VHIC Card Holders, AD and Dependents (Although encouraged to shop on Wed - Sun )
Eustis Main Exchange & Food Cour
Temporary Hours of Operation
Eustis Main Store
10 AM - 5 PM Mon-Sun
Eustis Food Court
7 AM - 8 PM Mon-Sun (757) 878-3772
Eustis Express Subway
10 AM - 6 PM Mon-Sun (757) 369-3802
Education Center: Open Normal Hours
BBC Family Housing: BBC plans to release message this weekend regarding hours of operation and maintenance services
Fort Eustis Worship Services: in-person services cancelled. Please join us for worship using Facebook Live at 1030 hours / 10:30 am, Sunday, 15 March 2020 (Regimental Memorial Chapel)
Fort Eustis Religious Education Studies: cancelled through 28 March. This includes: AWANA, Protestant Women of the Chapel, Relationship Strengthening Thursday evening program, Catholic Women of the Chapel and other studies.
Legal Assistance: Walk-in appointments closed. For urgent matters (such as deployment or COVID-19 landlord/tenant issues), please contact us at 757-878-3031 ext. 222.
U.S. Army Transportation Museum: Closed
Mental Resiliency is important for our Soldiers and Airmen, families and the community. Below are some resources to help during this time of need.
Support Resources ROM Telework
Helping Homebound Children during COVID-19 Outbreak
Sustaining Well Being Healthcare Personnel during
The Fort Eustis Behavioral Health clinic is operating under normal business hours 0745-1630 appointments only.
For more information on resources available to you, contact your Langley Mental Health Clinic at 764-6840.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Despite the current stop movement, the Langley AFB Traffic Management Office (TMO) Personal Property (PPTY) Section continues to process all personal property move applications as they are received. Although the TMO PPTY section will not be conducting face-to-face counseling, they can be reached at DSN 764-7868/7869. For all after-hours emergency support, members can contact 757-506-5705. To start the counseling process, members are still required to Self-Counsel within the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) module at https://www.move.mil. Once Self Counseling is completed, please send an email to TMO.HOUSEGOODS@US.AF.MIL notifying the TMO PPTY section
The Army command team at Ft. Eustis determined "local area" jurisdiction for Soldiers at this time is 100 miles from their place of current residence or Fort Eustis, Virginia.
This guidance has been coordinated and approved by the Wing Commanders of the 1FW, 363 ISRW, 480 ISRW, 633 ABW and the Director of ACC Staff.
We know there are a lot of questions about the DoD announcement regarding domestic travel restrictions and what that means for you and your family.
Per Department guidance, travel restrictions halt all domestic travel, including PCSing, TDYs, and effective March 16th, only local area leave is authorized. The VCSAF has approved Secretary of Defense ordered deployment movements for pre-deployment and deployment training travel. Travel exceptions may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is mission-essential, for humanitarian reasons, or warranted due to extreme hardship. Approval authority for these exceptions belongs to the Combatant Commander, the Service Secretaries, the Chief Management Officer, or the Director of the Joint Staff, but may be further delegated. Further guidance regarding those returning from deployment will be provided as received.
Again, effective 16 March, Air Force members will be restricted to the local area for leave/pass travel, meaning a one hour driving radius surrounding their place of residence and/or duty station.* Unit commanders can restrict local travel further based on mission needs. For example: mission essential personnel providing replacements for individuals placed in restriction of movement. While the local area guidance still applies, exceptions to the one hour radius must be approved by the first O-6 in your chain of command. We are also encouraging members and families to avoid large public gatherings where potential spread increases. We understand this may have impacted plans but need to take precautionary measures to avoid COVID-19 impacts to our local communities.
*The Army command team at Ft. Eustis determined "local area" jurisdiction for Soldiers at this time is 100 miles from their place of current residence or Fort Eustis, Virginia.
We will continue to follow risk-based measures consistent with guidance from the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including applicable travel advisories and disease-mitigation actions.
Force health protection is our top priority, and we will make every effort to ensure that members across Joint Base Langley Eustis have the most up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus. Leadership across JBLE is committed to preserving the ability of our servicemen and women to provide for national defense and current worldwide military missions.
Please contact your chain of command for further questions.
DoD Domestic Travel Restrictions:
Domestic STOP MOVEMENT Memo issued 3/13
DOD FAQs on Travel Restriction Guidance:
Statement by DoD on Domestic Travel Restrictions:
The Secretary of Defense recently released “Travel Restrictions for DoD Components in Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019.” The following are highlighted key points. Additional information can be found within the memorandum linked below.
Effective Mar. 13, 2020
1. All DoD uniformed personnel, civilian personnel and family members travelling to, from or through CDC Level 3 countries have a 60 day STOP MOVEMENT NOTICE to include:
• All forms of official travel
• Government Funded Leave
• For uniformed personnel, personal leave and other non-official travel, DoD travelers should carefully plan travel and ensure flights do not transit through or originate in Level 3 locations. Authorized Departures are delayed until appropriate transportation and reception procedures are in place as prescribed by MFR.
2. Concurrent official travel for family members of DoD uniformed personnel and civilian personnel is denied to CDC Travel Health Notices Level 2 countries for 60 days. Additionally, until the above travel restrictions are lifted, civilian hiring actions for positions in non-essential civilian slots at Level 2 and Level 3 locations are postponed for those who have not yet begun travel.
3. DoD Components must determine whether official travel by DoD personnel to locations other than Level 3 locations is mission essential and MUST defer non-mission essential travel.
Exceptions may be granted in writing to the guidance of this MFR for compelling cases where travel is (1) determined to be mission essential; (2) necessary for humanitarian reasons; (3) warranted due to extreme hardship.
See MFR for who the granting authority is for various instances, instances of retirements or separation, and the prescribed screening processes for those traveling on a waiver.
Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/ to find updated lists of Level 3 and Level 2 countries.
Service members and dependents effected by the changes in travel restrictions should coordinate their questions with the following:
• PCS Travel – Service members or beneficiaries, contact your servicing Travel Management Office at (757) 764-7868
• TDY travel – Service members, work with your authorizing official or Commander.
• Deployment travel – Service members work with your Unit Deployment Manager.
• PCS Travel – Service members or beneficiaries, contact the Army Transportation Office at (757) 878-4664.
• TDY travel – Service members should contact the Wingate Travel Office at (757) 878-5577.
• Deployment travel – Service members work with your chain of command.
The CDC has indicated that there are higher risk demographics associated with COVID-19. These include older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. If you have regular, close contact with these higher risk individuals and you have concerns about upcoming official travel, please notify your supervisor.
Travel Restrictions for DoD Components in Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Memorandum -https://media.defense.gov/2020/Mar/11/2002263242/-1/-1/1/TRAVEL-RESTRICTIONS-FOR-DOD-COMPONENTS-IN-RESPONSE-TO-CORONAVIRUS-DISEASE-2019.PDF
JBLE announces confirmed positive COVID-19 case - Release Number: 03-01--20
Changes made to JBLE access - Release Number: 03-02-20
Q: What causes individuals to fall into the “monitoring” category?
A: Monitored individuals include personnel who are at elevated risk of getting COVID-19 due to possible contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19, and/or individuals with symptoms and possible travel history to an area of elevated risk.
Q: What are Air Force medical facilities doing to educate, prevent, screen and manage efforts?
A: Air Force medical facilities are protecting the force in accordance with Office of the Secretary of Defense Force Health Protection Guidance.
- Air Force medical facilities are mitigating the spread of the virus by ensuring accountability of all service members who have returned from mainland China and placing those service members under a 14-day restriction of movement.
- The Air Force is preparing by publishing screening and event-management guidance, training staff in CDC processes and ensuring medical personnel rehearse event-management processes.
- Air Force medical staff help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 by using personal protective equipment, as well as developing health-surveillance protocols, PPE requirements and tracing processes in coordination with state and local public health organizations.
- Air Force medical facilities will respond to the COVID-19 threat by identification, monitoring and management of possible cases and positive tests for the virus, protecting staff and beneficiaries within hospitals and the local community.
- Air Force medical facilities will educate and reassure beneficiaries by providing information directly and in concert with installation leadership and state and local public health organizations.
Q: What are Air Force medical facilities doing if someone tests positive for COVID-19?
A: The safety and health of our Airmen and Space professionals is paramount to mission readiness. In the event that an Air Force member or dependent tests positive for COVID-19, each medical facility has plans in place for treatment, and will take appropriate measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. The patient will be isolated appropriately in a private room with a door and its own bathroom, if available. The appropriate personal protective equipment will be available to the patient and the staff consistent with CDC guidelines. Actions to protect patients and staff include education and future contact tracing if required. Air Force officials at all levels are working closely with the local/regional health departments and the CDC to validate our preparedness for public health emergencies.
Q: What about military members and units either deploying to regions affected by the virus or returning from regions where the virus is present?
A: Senior leaders in each region evaluate the potential safety for travel and military operations by Airmen and Space professionals. As a matter of precaution, members returning from overseas duties from affected regions are being monitored before they leave the region, during their travel back, and upon arrival at their destination. Airmen and Space professionals deployed to affected regions are complying with commanders’ directives regarding travel and military duties associated with current operations.
Q: Is the Air Force going to cancel or delay any TDY missions, leaves or PCS moves?
A: We are complying with any DOD travel restrictions and clearance processes. Currently, INDOPACOM has restricted all non-essential travel (including leave, liberty, etc) in the Republic of Korea, China and Mongolia. EUCOM has restricted all non-official travel in and out of the Lombardy and Milan regions of Italy. The U.S. and South Korean militaries have made the decision to postpone joint military exercises. U.S. Central Command has suspended leave and liberty for service members and DOD civilians within its area of responsibility.
Q: Are any exercises or operations being canceled as a result of the spread of COVID-19?
A: The Air Force has not postponed, redirected or canceled any exercises at this time. Department of Air Force units or individual members participating in regional command joint exercises may have unique impacts. However, we are continually assessing the current environment and are working with our host nations in the regions to ensure the health and safety of our members as operations continue.
Q: How is the Air Force screening people at Basic Military Training?
A: The safety and security of all of our recruits is of the utmost importance to us and we are taking steps to ensure their safety and well-being. All members entering basic military training are required to process military entrance processing stations on the day of or the day before departing for basic military training. Members at MEPS have virus protocol procedures to observe and take temperatures of all individuals entering MEPS facilities. Air Force recruiters also complete a medical prescreen on all applicants that covers all medical concerns, to include COVID-19. We continue to encourage all members and their families to follow CDC guidance for COVID-19.
Q: Will there be any daycare, school or commissary facilities closed as the virus spreads?
A: Commanders of individually affected geographic combatant commands are issuing specific guidance to their forces, to educate and safeguard military and civilian personnel, family members and bases communities in preventing wide-spread outbreak. The CDC has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Alert for Italy and South Korea, recommending travelers avoid all non-essential travel. The closing of child development centers in those areas are in-line with local health official recommendations.
Q: What precautions should I be taking?
A: All Air Force personnel are encouraged to follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The risk of contracting the new coronavirus virus is low, but CDC officials do recommend getting an influenza vaccine and taking everyday preventive actions to help preclude the spread of germs. We encourage all Air Force personnel and their families to continue to practice proper hygiene as the best way to prevent the spread of viruses. This includes washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Also, avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands and avoid close contact with those who are sick. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces should also be done.
Q: What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
A: According to the CDC, anyone contracting a respiratory illness shouldn’t assume it is novel coronavirus; it is far more likely to be a more common malady, such as seasonal influenza or the common cold. However, patients who traveled to China, or another area where COVID-19 has been identified as having community transmission, in the past 14 days and currently have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, should immediately seek medical care and notify their medical provider of their travel history. If possible, call the medical facility before arrival so the staff can take appropriate precautions. Military medical facilities have provided guidance on how to address such circumstances. People who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Q: Who is making the decision to initiate Force Health Protection actions?
A: USNORTHCOM provides guidelines to the Military Departments and other DoD Agencies in the Continental United States. The Military Departments provide additional guidance to their installations. The local commanders make appropriate FHP decisions regarding their installations.
Q: What are Force Health Protection actions?
A: Much like the guidance that CDC provides to the public, the Department of Defense provides similar guidance to military commanders. The primary difference is that the DoD guidance is designed to ensure the Department of Defense can continue to perform its mission.
How are Soldiers on PCS orders affected?
Soldiers and families on orders to or from the countries identified with a CDC warning level of category 3 for COVID-19 (Korea and Italy) will suspend movement and delay travel until May 6, 2020, or until further notice.
Has the Army banned foreign travel by service members and their families?
Non-official travel (including leave, liberty, etc.) has been restricted in and out of the Lombardy and Milan regions of Italy, and is restricted in the ROK, China, Mongolia, and in the CENTCOM AOR. West Point has implemented the following travel restrictions to cadets and faculty: All official OCONUS/International government travel is canceled until further notice. All passes and leave to China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia have been canceled. All passes and leave to the CENTCOM AOR are also canceled until further notice.
Can local commanders ban service members from traveling?
Commanders have been given guidance to limit all unnecessary travel to areas potentially impacted by COVID-19.
Will there be any daycare, school or commissary facilities closed as the virus spreads?
As of now, the school located in Vicenza, Italy, is closed, and DOD schools in South Korea will remain closed until March 15. DOD school officials are working to provide online lessons if schools remain closed. U.S. officials are following host-nation directives to determine if facilities should be shut down to prevent or delay the spreading of the virus so health care facilities do not become overwhelmed.
New guidance released by HQDA limits Soldiers from attending Professional Military Education. Can you provide more details on the PME guidance?
Soldiers scheduled to attend courses or schools in the United States less than six months in duration stationed in Italy or Korea, will postpone their schooling until further notice. Soldiers scheduled to attend training in the United States for six months or longer, will arrive 14 days early for screening and quarantine.
How does this guidance impact foreign military students?
The same guidance applies to foreign military students. PME lasting six months or less will be delayed until further notice and training six months or longer will require the student to arrive 14 days early.
Will foreign military students be able to conduct exchanges and visits?
Effective immediately, foreign military students from countries with a CDC alert level category 2 and above for COVID-19 will not participate in U.S. scheduled exercises, exchanges and visits.
Will U.S. Soldiers be able to participate in training, exercises, and visits?
Effective immediately, Soldiers will not attend training, exercises, exchanges and visits in countries with a CDC alert level category 2 and above for COVID-19.
Army Response Efforts
What are installations doing to inform their Soldiers, families and civilians regarding ongoing support and requirements to prepare for or mitigate exposure to coronavirus?
Leadership at installations are hosting town halls to inform Soldiers, families and civilians about how they are responding to and supporting efforts to prepare for or prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Social media platforms such as private unit Facebook pages can inform internal audiences of the latest CDC guidance and Army guidance. Virtual town halls should be considered in impacted OCONUS areas.
How is the Army prepared to respond to this outbreak?
The Army has standing plans to respond to an infectious disease outbreak and we are executing those plans at our bases and operating locations around the world. The Army is taking precautionary measures to protect the health of the force and maintain operational readiness.
Is the Army prepared for an outbreak on its bases?
As with any military operation, we want to be trained, equipped and prepared to contain the coronavirus quickly and effectively if an outbreak were to occur in or around our bases. Units are conducting preparations in the event a Soldier, family member or civilian employee is diagnosed with COVID-19.
What guidance has the Army given to its commanders?
Commanders of individually affected organizations have all the authority they need, and will provide specific guidance to their service members as the situation continues to evolve.
Does the Army have the right equipment and enough of it to protect its service members and families?
The Army has enough personal protective equipment for service members and their families. In addition, the Army’s test kits can examine 250-500 personnel. If a Soldier or family member tests positive for coronavirus at a local medical facility, the presumptive positive result will be sent to the CDC for a final determination.
U.S. Army Medical Research & Development - Vaccine
How is the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command supporting the Army and the DOD to address COVID-19?
U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) is poised to help the DOD’s 2019 Novel Coronavirus Medical Countermeasures effort by coordinating the development of medical countermeasures, such as a safe, effective, readily available vaccine.
How is the USAMRDC leveraging interagency partners and the scientific community to address concerns?
USAMRDC experts collaborate and participate in numerous international/domestic forums to ensure coordination of effort and sharing of best practices, as they are understood. Recent engagements include OTSG/MEDCOM, OSD-P, USG Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Task Force (TF), World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and industry partners.
How are Army lab personnel handling clinical specimens for the COVID-19 diagnostic testing?
Regional health commands are ensuring Army medical labs are coordinating with state and local departments of health, the Defense Health Agency, U.S. Army Medical Command and the CDC to ensure rapid collection and processing of potential COVID-19 patient samples. Army medical lab personnel are familiar with the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the COVID-19 diagnostic testing provided by the CDC and are establishing appropriate processes for collection and testing of clinical specimens.
What are Army medical facilities doing to assess a patient suspected of having COVID-19?
The minimum requirement is a full-facility assessment to quickly detect, isolate and hold or treat a patient with suspected COVID-19. The patient will be isolated appropriately in a private room with a door and its own bathroom, if available. The appropriate PPE will be available to staff consistent with CDC guidelines. Actions to protect patients and staff include education and future contact tracing if required.
What are Army medical facilities doing to see or report potential COVID-19 patients?
Army medical facilities continually train and prepare to deal with emergent health issues. The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the federal government’s lead for the response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Army medical facilities follow all CDC guidelines and will report to the appropriate county health departments any potential COVID-19 patients. At this time, the DOD is only providing housing support, as needed. Army medical facilities continually train and prepare to deal with emergent issues.
What is the treatment for COVID-19?
There are no licensed treatments for COVID-19. USAMRDC is exploring antiviral drugs under emergency investigational new drug (IND) or Expanded Access Protocol to treat COVID-19. USAMRDC is exploring, with Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and Gilead Sciences, Inc., an expanded use of a drug called Remdesivir that has demonstrated activity against severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV). This drug was tested in the Democratic Republic of Congo to treat Ebola virus alongside three other therapeutics.
What immediate capabilities can the USAMRDC provide for a COVID-19 response?
In addition to subject matter experts in coronavirus, USAMRDC has infrastructure and competencies to support a whole-of-government approach to rapidly develop medical countermeasures. Competencies include containment laboratories, testing capabilities for product safety and a clinical trials center.
What rapid response experience does USAMRDC have with emerging infectious diseases?
USAMRDC provides a full range of capabilities, from research, development, testing, and evaluation to quickly respond to national health crises. These capacities have been applied to several emerging infectious disease outbreaks, including Ebola virus, Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Zika virus.
How soon might there be a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19?
The U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command is supporting a whole-of-government approach to investigate and develop vaccine candidates against COVID-19. The vaccine candidates under investigation include different approaches to generate immunity and are at different stages of development. USAMRDC and our USG partners are progressing at revolutionary rates in order to deliver effective treatment and prevention products to protect U.S. and global citizens and preserve the readiness and lethality of our DOD service members.
What capabilities does the U.S. Army Medical research Institute of Infections Disease have?
The USAMRIID is the only laboratory equipped to safely study highly hazardous viruses that require maximum containment at biosafety level 4. It is uniquely positioned to develop and maintain biological safety, security and surety standards to meet multiple levels of regulatory oversight. It provides leading-edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents such as COVID-19.
Coronavirus Facts and Guidance
How does the virus spread?
Person-to-person transmission is believed to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza viruses and other respiratory pathogens spread. At this time, it’s unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes. The COVID-19 virus is not stable in the environment, limiting the ability to spread on surfaces, and the virus is not known to infect domesticated animals.
What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
According to the CDC, anyone contracting a respiratory illness shouldn’t assume it is novel coronavirus; it is far more likely to be a more common malady. However, patients who traveled to China, or overseas in general in the past 14 days with fever, cough or difficulty breathing, should seek medical care right away and notify their medical provider immediately of their travel history. Military medical facilities have provided guidance on how to address such circumstances.
Should I wear a facemask?
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear facemasks to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses like the flu and coronavirus. Facemasks should be worn by people with symptoms of the coronavirus to help stop the spread of the disease to others. It is also critical for healthcare workers to have facemasks on hand for use in treatment facilities.
What is the treatment for the coronavirus?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for the coronavirus. People who think they may have been exposed to the virus should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
What are Army medical facilities doing to educate, prevent, screen and manage efforts?
Army medical facilities are protecting the force in accordance with OSD Force Health Protection Guidance.
What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
What are the CDC alert level category countries?
CDC category 3 alert level countries: China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. CDC category 2 alert level countries: Japan