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...

Air Force doctor retires after 48 years of service

Article
11/20/2020
Uniformed officer standing next to an Air Force seal, wearing a stethoscope around his shoulders

In his civilian career, Thomas maintains a private practice as an anesthesiologist in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Health Readiness

Navy PA continues to care for COVID-19 caregivers

Article
11/19/2020
Three soldiers, wearing masks, demonstrating a hearing test

As a PAt, Osborn works hand-in-hand with supervising physicians and surgeons.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

NICoE & ISC Network maintain TBI care during COVID-19

Article
11/19/2020
Image of United States map with locations noted

The Network leveraged their geographic distribution to help each other quickly adapt to changing times.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Traumatic Brain Injury

San Antonio volunteers sought for Warp Speed vaccine trials

Article
11/18/2020
Woman typing on laptop

DOD sites are open on a voluntary basis to Military Health System beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Army combat medic earns U.S. citizenship, plans to continue serving

Article
11/18/2020
Two men wearing masks, one in a car, one leaning in the car

The native of Brazil is part of the COVID-19 testing team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army doctors provide COVID-19 safety tips for the holiday season

Article
11/17/2020
Soldiers wearing masks, looking at flight information in airport

Celebrating the holidays during a pandemic may bring additional challenges for people this year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | November Toolkit | November Holidays and Observances

Military Health System participating in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Article
11/17/2020
Woman measuring out a vaccine into a needle

How you can help test the vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA leaders recognize CCP collection campaign contributors & donors

Article
11/16/2020
Three military personnel in uniform, wearing masks, in front of flags

The ceremony honored those who contributed to exceeding the goal of collecting 10,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

NMRTU Everett staff collaborate to ensure Patient Centered Care

Article
11/16/2020
Image of two military personnel wearing masks

NMRTU Everett was commended by the MHS 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Forging of civil-military anvil against COVID-19 focus at GHSA

Article
11/9/2020
U.S. and Thai soldiers stand together during a medical exercise.

“Defense partnerships around the world are key.”

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Wave PENDLETON sees more MTFs deploy new electronic health record

Article
11/5/2020
Military technician, wearing a mask, in front of a computer screen

Wave PENDLETON is the third major deployment of MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

BAMC, Argentine Army medical providers share COVID-19 best practices

Article
11/4/2020
Video teleconference image

U.S. Army South facilitated the virtual subject matter expert (SME) exchange between BAMC and CMMH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Technology | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Public Health | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

NMCP unveils new COVID-19 testing system

Article
11/2/2020
A group of military health personnel, wearing masks, in front of a large machine with a red ribbon in front of it.

Each Panther system can provide initial results in approximately four hours.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Military nurses hold virtual research & evidence-based practice course

Article
10/30/2020
Two nurses, wearing masks, examining a mannequin

Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, the three-day in-person course was abbreviated to a one-day virtual.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health | Combat Support | Research and Innovation
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 19

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.