Back to Top Skip to main content

DoD releases guidance to protect forces from novel coronavirus

The novel coronavirus is a variant of other coronaviruses, such as this colorized transmission electron micrograph of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus particles (blue) found near the periphery of an infected VERO E6 cell (yellow). Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by NIAID) The novel coronavirus is a variant of other coronaviruses, such as this colorized transmission electron micrograph of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) virus particles (blue) found near the periphery of an infected VERO E6 cell (yellow). Image captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (Photo by NIAID)

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Public Health | Coronavirus | Coronavirus

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, the Department of Defense has established a Spotlight page to disseminate the latest information on the outbreak and to highlight coordination efforts with other organizations throughout the U.S. government. Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Matthew P. Donovan released a guidance letter for force health protection specifically relating to the novel coronavirus. In it, Donovan states that DoD will follow guidance by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. While DoD personnel are not specifically at risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus, the fact that service members and their families travel internationally and throughout the U.S. means they should take additional precautions to avoid risk.

The CDC issued new guidance on precautionary steps health practitioners, service members, and their families should take to avoid contracting the virus. For health care professionals, the CDC has provided guidance to avoid additional risk from patients who may have been exposed to coronavirus. After identifying a person at risk or patient under investigation based on symptoms and exposure history, those suspected of illness should wear a face mask and be evaluated in a private room with a closed door or placed in an airborne infection isolation room if available.

The best way for most people to avoid getting sick, according to the CDC, is by implementing standard infection control procedures:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

The CDC has also warned against all nonessential travel to China. For recent travelers to China, the CDC recommends close monitoring for any changes in their health for at least 14 days after travel. If recent travelers develop a cough or have difficulty breathing, they should avoid contact with others and inform their health care providers about symptoms and recent travel. Anyone currently sick should avoid travel.

The World Health Organization has issued a rare public health emergency of international concern regarding the novel coronavirus, while the U.S. State Department issued travel guidance recommending travelers reconsider any plans to visit China. Further, on Jan. 23, the State Department ordered the departure of all nonemergency U.S. personnel and their family members from Wuhan, China, where the novel coronavirus was first discovered.

Please visit the Health.mil coronavirus web page for the latest information.

You also may be interested in...

Public Health Emergency Officers balance risk and mission during crisis

Article
6/17/2020
Military personnel packing sanitizing products

PHEOs are military treatment facility staff who are designated to serve as a resource to help guide installation commanders during a large scale public health incident.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Teleteaching during the pandemic? USU center seeks educators' stories

Article
6/16/2020
Man wearing headphones in front of two monitors and keyboard

Educators faced juggling act on front lines, home front

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DOD's Health Care Chief Discusses Pivot to Counter COVID-19

Article
6/16/2020
Healthcare workers applauding departing soldiers

"[O]ur uniform leaders and our civilians are very, very good at adapting to change..."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Medical Research Center Supports Marine Recruits During Pandemic

Article
6/15/2020
Soldiers wearing masks

The primary focus of the research...is to maintain maximum health while meeting graduation standards and requirements for recruits during the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

METC celebrates 10 years training enlisted medical force

Article
6/15/2020
Students standing in auditorium

When the Department of Defense’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission directed nearly all enlisted medical training be collocated at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, it may have unknowingly changed the landscape of enlisted medical training for the foreseeable future. In addition to collocating, the BRAC legislation also called for training to be consolidated where possible, meaning two or more services would share curriculum and classrooms.

Recommended Content:

About | Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: Secretary of the Army recognizes BACH and 531st COVID-19 support

Article
6/15/2020
Two soldiers in masks elbow bumping

McCarthy took time to recognize several Soldiers and a Department of the Army Civilian for their efforts in the Army’s COVID-19 response.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MHS Beneficiaries Turn to Online Resources to Manage Personal Care During Pandemic

Article
6/12/2020
Man sitting in front of laptop

The TOL PP team added several COVID-19-related enhancements to the portal.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA AI 3020.01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Environment

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and in preparation for regression or resurgence in COVID-19 cases that could impact the workforce.

  • Identification #: DHA AI 3020.01
  • Date: 6/12/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: Air Force International Health Specialists bring experience to pandemic response

Article
6/12/2020
Two men in masks...one in military uniform, the other casually dressed

Stepping out of your comfort zone and being part of the larger DOD mission is crucial to grow as a military medic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Engagement

Time to Telework. How is it Working?

Article
6/11/2020
Image of man standing next to large computer screen

Whether young or old, a first-timer or seasoned teleworker, the experience has been insightful for all.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Coming together during a pandemic to provide life-giving blood.

Article
6/11/2020
Service member gives blood while wearing a mask.

Service members step up as blood drives adapt to COVID-19 guidelines

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Armed Services Blood Program

Air Force medical recruiting up while recruiters, applicants serve their communities

Article
6/10/2020
Four  military nurses wearing masks

The pandemic is increasing unemployment rates, driving many people to seek career paths in health sciences and military medicine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Searching for clues under the microscope to understand COVID-19

Article
6/10/2020
Researcher places a drop of fluid to slide that is under a microscope

The Joint Pathology Center plays a unique role in the fight against COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: A Determined Descendant and a Navy Hospital's Response to COVID-19

Article
6/9/2020
Image of Navy captain, wearing a mask, standing next to a piece of paper on the wall

Althoff and her team at the Quality Management directorate serve as a locus of coordination for clinical support operations.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: NBHC Kingsville recognized as ‘Best of the Best’ for patient satisfaction

Article
6/8/2020
Image of two soldiers; one holding a bottle of hand sanitizer

The Best of the Best Report is updated quarterly, and contains the top performing clinics, providers, and clerks & receptionists.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | MHS Patient Satisfaction Surveys
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 41

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.