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Old 02-29-2020, 10:07 AM
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Arrow Containment, cancellations and quarantines — the Pentagon’s latest plans for dealing

Containment, cancellations and quarantines — the Pentagon’s latest plans for dealing with coronavirus
By: Karen Jowers & Patricia Kime - Military Times - 02-28-20

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Officials wearing protective attire work to diagnose people with suspected symptoms of the new coronavirus at a hospital in Daegu, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (Kim Hyun-tae/Yonhap via AP)

Issuing personal protective gear, canceling military exercises, limiting access to installations, canceling leave and implementing quarantine, isolation and other restrictions are some of the actions that defense officials have outlined in new guidance to military commanders for dealing with widespread outbreaks of the coronavirus disease in their areas around the world.

The disease, known as COVID-19, “continues to spread and is an increasing force health protection threat in areas where Department of Defense personnel live and work,” stated the Feb. 25 memorandum, obtained by Military Times. It was signed by Matthew P. Donovan, acting under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

Various commands have already taken steps, such as U.S. Central Command’s suspension of leave and liberty for troops and DoD civilian workers to and within its area of responsibility. Over the last week, officials have had to make a number of decisions because of the rapidly spreading virus, including the closures of some overseas DoD schools, and the suspension of an exercise in Korea.

Defense and service officials have previous guidance several times since Jan. 30 outlining DoD’s plans for dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including monitoring personnel returning from China. But CDC guidance may have limited applicability to DoD installations, particularly those outside the U.S., where it doesn’t apply to other nations. This is the first guidance that outlines specific responses for installation commanders based on the risk of the disease identified in the community.

There are more than 82,000 cases of the coronavirus worldwide, and nearly 3,000 deaths, primarily in China. A soldier stationed in South Korea became the first U.S. service member to test positive for the coronavirus this week.

Because the disease manifests differently by location, setting, population and individual, the responses need to be flexible, tailored, and incremental, Donovan wrote in the Feb. 25 memo. He provides a framework for detailed actions at various stages of risk level. Each level builds on the previous one, beginning with actions to be taken before any instances of infection in the community, such as maximizing the number of people who can telework, and identifying those people who are mission-essential and must report to duty during an outbreak.

Donovan notes that commanders outside the U.S. have unique geographic constraints and operational considerations for health protections, and also must consider applicable relevant host nation and allied forces standards.

Among the recommended actions:

*Moderate community transmission, where people have been infected with the virus in more than one location: Officials should restrict service members’ travel to these affected communities, and advise family members, DoD civilian employees and contractor personnel of the risk. They should change military exercises in affected areas to limit the risk to personnel. At this stage they define their protective gear procedures for personnel at high risk.

*Sustained community transmission: Officials should consider declaring a Public Health Emergency; limiting access to the installation; consider cancelling large public gathering events on the installation; consider changing or canceling military exercises; limiting leave and travel to the area except when approved on a case-by-case basis. If outside the U.S. and considering authorized and ordered departure actions, coordinate with respective Combatant Command or military department headquarters and the Joint Staff and DoD to align with the Department of State guidance.

*Widespread community transmission, officials should build on the measures from the previous risk levels and:

*consider restriction of movement such as quarantine, isolation, canceling public gatherings.

*strongly consider declaring a local Public Health Emergency.

*distribute personal protective equipment.

*implement quarantine for people and units returning from the area to a lower risk area.

*change or potentially cancel exercises.

*Cancel non-mission essential activities

*Maximize telework.

*Cancel all non-essential leave and travel to the area.

*Consider other restrictions of movement for people critical to national security functions

*Coordinate all authorized and ordered departure actions through their respective headquarters, and the Joint Staff and DoD to align with the Department of State guidance.


Personal note: I figured - cancelled all non-essential leave and travel would be enforced.
Nothing is being said how long these restrictions will be in place. So Guys & Gals you will just have to roll with the punches until they get a handle on this medical issue.

Personal note: When I was in boot camp many decades ago - I wanted to go to California for boot camp but they had an out break of spinal meningitis. So I went to Great Lakes.
During my 2nd week in boot camp we got a morning wake up call and the guy in the bunk next to me didn't get up. We shook him but no movement. Called the Master At Arms and then the Corpsmen showed up he was DOA. Next we were put into confinement for two weeks to see if this guy from CA gave anyone of us this meningitis. We were held back for 3-4 weeks in isolation waiting for results - plus we got a series of shots during this time.

Every morning we'd wake up and check if everyone did as well - so it had not evidently spread to us. We finished our medical restrictions and then completed our training to Graduation. Scary it was - we all had to wait and see if we got a fever or whatever. The medic's came in each day in special air tight suits and took blood test and temperature readings of everyone. Food was brought in and that was it. We were lucky and to have this guy that died (from CA) in a bunk next to me - I felt sure as hell I would've gotten this - but the Old Man upstairs must have said its not your time yet. Amen to that. Just thought I'd post this - it really happened!!!


O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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