Skip to main content

Military Health System

The COVID-19 pandemic, one year later in the DOD

Image of A photo of a hospital ship . Hospital ship USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles March 27, 2020, to serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients who had been admitted to shore-based hospitals (Photo by: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David Mora).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

The United States has spent more than one year in various states of physical distancing, mask-wearing, and quarantine as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world.

Since the beginning of the declaration of a national emergency one year ago this month — and even before — the Department of Defense and the Military Health System, and the Defense Health Agency have focused on the top priority of keeping our forces and families safe, providing the highest quality health care possible, maintaining operational readiness, and supporting the national effort to defeat the deadly disease.

The Defense Health Agency's DHA's mission of ensuring a Ready Medical Force/Medically Ready Force has never been more important.

Below is a timeline of how the pandemic has evolved this past year and key accomplishments impacting the DOD, the MHS, and the DHA:

2019

Dec. 8 - First person tests positive in Wuhan, China.

2020

Jan. 9 - World Health Organization announces mysterious coronavirus-related pneumonia in Wuhan.

Jan. 17 - Centers for Disease Control begins screenings at JFK International, San Francisco International, and Los Angeles International airports.

Jan. 18 - CDC begins testing for COVID-19 in the United States.

Jan. 21 - CDC confirms first U.S. coronavirus case, a resident of Washington state.

Jan. 29 - U.S. government establishes COVID-19 interagency task force.

Jan. 30 - Department of Defense issues initial Force Protection Guidance for COVID-19.

Feb. 2 - Global air travel is restricted.

Feb. 3 - United States declares public health emergency.

Feb. 6 - First U.S. death attributed to coronavirus occurs in San Francisco Bay area, Santa Clara County.

Feb. 9 - Vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff establishes COVID-19 Crisis Management Team.

Feb. 11 - WHO officially names the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19.

Feb. 28 - DOD establishes the DOD COVID-19 Task Force.

March 5 - Airmen from the California National Guard deliver virus testing kits to the Grand Princess cruise ship off the coast of California.

March 10 - 270 members of the New York National Guard are deployed to deliver school lunches and sanitize public buildings in a one-square mile containment zone in New Rochelle, New York.

March 11 - WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic.

March 13 - President Donald J. Trump declares national emergency.

March 16 - Moderna begins phase 1 clinical trials of investigational vaccine for COVID-19.

March 17 - United States records 100th death from coronavirus. West Virginia is the last state to confirm a COVID-19 case. All 50 U.S. states have confirmed cases.

March 21 - First DOD death attributed to coronavirus, a contractor for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in Arlington, Virginia.

March 27 - USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles to support the U.S. COVID-19 response efforts and serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients admitted to shore-based hospitals in the greater Los Angeles area.

March 30 - USNS Comfort arrives in New York to support the front lines of the COVID-19 response.

May 4 - Pfizer initiates clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the United States.

May 27 - United States surpasses 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

July 27 - Moderna begins phase 3 clinical trials of vaccine for COVID-19.

Military health personnel wearing a face mask giving the COVID-19 vaccine
Army Cpt. Isaiah Horton, a doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, receives one of the military’s first COVID-19 vaccinations at the Bethesda, Maryland, facility on Dec. 14, 2020 (Department of Defense photo by Lisa Ferdinando).

Aug. 20 - DOD reaches more than 50,000 presumed COVID-19 cases (military, military dependents, DOD civilian employees, DOD contractors).

Aug. 23 - FDA issues an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19.

Aug. 31 - AstraZeneca begins phase 3 clinical trials in the United States of vaccine for COVID-19. Five DOD medical treatment facilities support the trial.

Sept. 23 - Johnson & Johnson begins phase 3 clinical trials of Janssen vaccine for COVID-19.

Sept. 28 - Global COVID-19 deaths surpass 1 million.

Sept. 30 - DOD attains a four-month goal to collect 10,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma from patients who have fully recovered from COVID-19 to support the development of an effective treatment against the disease.

Oct. 16 - HHS and DOD announce agreements with CVS and Walgreens to provide COVID-19 vaccine with no out-of-pocket costs for vulnerable Americans in long-term care facilities nationwide once vaccines are available and recommended for them.

Nov. 1 - DOD begins rapid, on-site COVID-19 testing for passengers departing Baltimore Washington International Airport and Seattle Tacoma Airport aboard Patriot Express flights for official duty at overseas locations.

Nov. 15 - Johnson & Johnson announces beginning of second global phase 3 clinical trials of its Janssen COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Nov. 17 - DOD surpasses 100,000 presumed COVID-19 cases (including military, military dependents, DOD civilian employees, DOD contractors).

Nov. 27 - DOD extends the limited exception to its telework policy provided by the USD memo on March 8, 2020.

Dec. 3 - President Trump authorizes an extension through March 31, 2021, for the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 assistance in 44 states and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dec. 9 - DOD announces its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans and phased population schema.

Dec. 11 - FDA issues emergency use authorization for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

Dec. 14 - First vaccinations administered in the United States and the DOD.

Dec. 18 - FDA issues emergency use authorization for Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

2021

Feb. 5 - Secretary of Defense approves deployment of 1,100 active-duty service members to assist with FEMA COVID-19 vaccination centers.

Feb. 11 - DOD and DHHS purchase additional 100 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

Feb. 22 - DOD administers its 1 millionth vaccine.

Feb. 22 - United States surpasses 500,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

Feb. 27 - FDA issues emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.

Feb. 28 - Pfizer and BioNTech begin global clinical trial to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women.

March 13 - United States passes one full year of the national pandemic emergency.

You also may be interested in...

MHS Minute | Nov 2022

Video
12/12/2022
MHS Minute | Nov 2022

The latest MHS Minute focuses on highlights from DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place’s final virtual town hall with the workforce, Nov. 16, 2022. The discussion included the agency’s biggest accomplishments over the past three years and the impact of COVID-19 on DHA’s reputation and approach to health care delivery.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

Video
2/9/2022
Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

CSM Gragg demonstrates how to use a COVID-19 at home rapid test.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

Video
8/24/2021
CSM Gragg Vaccine Statement

CSM Gragg shares his personal story dealing with COVID and the loss associated with it and urges all to take precautions.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

Video
8/16/2021
Lt. Gen. Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Gragg on Getting Vaccinated

DHA Director Lt. Gen. Ron Place and DHA Senior Enlisted Leader Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg talk about how getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is more important than ever.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Video
6/29/2021
The Battle Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Like our enemies in the past, the coronavirus has adapted and we're now dealing with the most transmissible variant yet, Delta. The fight can be won with vaccination. If you're not yet vaccinated against the coronavirus, go get your shot today. Otherwise you're at high risk for severe disease, hospitalization, and death.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Video
6/25/2021
The Delta Variant: A New Reason to Get Vaccinated

Are you a service member age 18 to 30? Are you unvaccinated? You may be entitled to severe disease, hospitalization, and death. To avoid these options, get vaccinated today!

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Video
5/28/2021
Are mRNA vaccines safe?

Dr. LC Collins explains the years of research and ongoing monitoring to show how mRNA vaccines are safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Breastfeeding after the COVID-19 Vaccine

Dr. LC Collins encourages people who are breastfeeding to get the vaccine. Since the vaccine doesn't contain live virus, you can't pass COVID to your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Do I Need the Vaccine if I Had COVID?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting vaccinated even if you already had COVID. We're not sure how long natural immunity lasts, so getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Video
5/28/2021
VAX Facts: Which Vaccine is Right for Me?

Dr. LC Collins talks about the importance of getting the first vaccine available to you. Don't hold out for a certain brand; they're all safe and effective.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

What is an mRNA vaccine?

Video
5/28/2021
What is an mRNA vaccine?

Dr. LC Collins explains how mRNA vaccines work to protect you from COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vax Facts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: Recommendations for Pregnancy

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: Recommendations for Pregnancy

The COVID vaccine is recommended for pregnant people. Watch to learn how your doctor can help you make the best decision for you and your baby.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: Risk and Precautions

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: Risk and Precautions

If you're fully vaccinated, there are options for safer activities. Watch to learn what activities you can resume once you're fully vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Vax Facts: I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?

Video
5/20/2021
Vax Facts: I'm fully vaccinated. What can I do?

If you're fully vaccinated, there are options for safer activities. Watch to learn what activities you can resume once you're fully vaccinated.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

MHS Celebrates National Hospital Week

Video
5/12/2021
MHS Celebrates National Hospital Week

During National Hospital Week, we highlight all of the training efforts and safety protocols the Military Health System has put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Mental Health: Seeking Care with TRICARE | May
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 27, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery