On Feb. 1, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper approved a request for assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services for housing support for about 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas travel due to the Novel Coronavirus.
HHS officials requested the Defense Department to provide several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through Feb. 29, 2020.
Under the request, DOD will only provide housing support, while HHS will be responsible for all care, transportation, and security of the evacuees. DOD personnel will not be directly in contact with the evacuees and evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned housing. In accordance with CDC guidelines, all evacuees will be monitored for a period of 14 days. Should routine monitoring of the evacuees identify ill individuals, HHS has procedures in place to transport them to a local civilian hospital.
The following installations have been selected by DOD to assist HHS evacuation operations, if needed:
• The 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Fort Carson, Colorado
• Travis Air Force Base, California
• Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
• Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California
The department continues to work closely with its interagency partners, while monitoring the situation. DOD has assessed this support will not negatively impact readiness or critical operations. The department’s primary responsibility is the safety of our force, our families and our base communities. DOD personnel will follow guidance in the memorandum, “Force Health Protection Guidance for the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak,” to reduce risk.