Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

DOD continues to increase COVID-19 test capacity

Technician wearing gloves putting a sample into a container A 96th Medical Group laboratory technician at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, handles a patient sample to test for COVID-19. The Military Health System has 158 operational labs with the overall capacity to conduct nearly 300,000 tests per week, according to Dr. Lee Payne, the lead of the Coronavirus Task Force diagnostics and testing effort. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ilka Cole)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

The Department of Defense has increased its overall capacity to conduct tests for COVID-19 by nearly 50% since July, according to the lead for the Coronavirus Task Force diagnostics and testing effort.

Air Force Maj. Gen. (Dr.) Lee Payne told a Pentagon press conference Nov. 24 that there are 158 operational laboratories with the overall capacity to conduct nearly 300,000 tests per week within the Military Health System. That compares to July numbers of 125 global labs certified for COVID-19 testing with the ability to perform more than 200,000 tests per week. In March as the first wave of the pandemic spread, there were only 15 testing sites able to perform 1,000 tests per week.

DOD is “regularly able to complete over 99% of their prior tests each week,” Payne said, despite supply shortages that are occurring in all the United States. DOD “has taken key steps to identify critical points in this supply chain and appropriate actions to mitigate these shortages throughout each phase of the pandemic,” he said.

“We will continue to lead from the front, identifying and investing in new technologies that will allow the department to accomplish our missions and protect our force and families,” Payne said.

Innovations allowing this high rate of completed tests include moving from the gold standard molecular COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests to new technology such as point-of-care molecular tests, oral swab, and quick blood antigen tests.

Army Col. Mikal Stoner, the acting DHA Lab Division chief, said in a statement: "Using our large DOD labs with higher throughput allowed more testing to occur with less staffing resources, in addition to adding more testing locations and platforms throughout DOD."

In addition, she noted, an MHS Lab Survey was created early on that allowed a view of supplies and testing numbers across all of MHS, including operational units.

Moving toward the future, “we are looking into surveillance pooling models, which use fewer resources and better support commands and their surveillance mission," Stoner said.

These increased capabilities have been happening while DOD has been leveraging Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration guidance to develop protocols “that help frontline clinicians determine the right test for the right situation, depending on a patient’s unique circumstances,” Payne told the media briefing.

“We look forward to continuing to expand our partnerships, capitalize on and implement new emerging research, technologies and capabilities that will allow us to grow our testing ability and further reduce the spread of COVID-19, ensuring mission readiness and keeping our service members and their families safe.”

As of Dec. 2, there were more than 16.2 million COVID-19 cases and nearly 270,000 deaths across the United States, according to the CDC. As of the same date, the DOD reported 120,398 cases and 130 deaths.

You also may be interested in...

Nurse and Tech Week: Air Force airmen are battle-tested and ready

Article
5/6/2021
12 COVID-19 patients aboard a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft

For the past year, Air Force nurses and medical technicians have found themselves on the front lines in the battle against the COVID-19 disease.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | National Nurses Week | Technology | Nurses Week | May Toolkit | Coronavirus

EACH celebrates National Nurses Week with a reflection on the pandemic

Article
5/6/2021
Military health personnel inputting information into a computer

Evans Army Community Hospital celebrates National Nurses Week 2021.

Recommended Content:

National Nurses Week | Nurses Week | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

This Defense Health Agency (DHA) Interim Procedures Memorandum (IPM), based on the authority of References (a) through (d), and in accordance with the guidance cited in References (e) through (aa), establishes the DHA’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program. This DHA-IPM applies to DHA, DHA Components (activities under the authority direction, and control of the DHA), Military Departments (MILDEP), and the United States Coast Guard (CG). This DHA-IPM cancels and replaces DHA-IPM 20-004, “Department of Defense (DoD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation,” December 13, 2020.

DHA, HA leaders discuss MHS Transformation at AHA panel

Article
5/6/2021
Military personnel talking at a podium

Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Dr. Terry Adirim discussed MHS Transformation, MHS GENESIS, and highlighted the DHA’s response to COVID-19 in a virtual roundtable hosted April 12 by the American Hospital Association.

Recommended Content:

MHS GENESIS | Military Health System Transformation | Genesis of MHS GENESIS | Coronavirus | Readiness Capabilities

Janssen COVID-19 vaccine returns to Military Health System

Article
5/4/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask and a face shield administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Doses of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine became available April 29 to those in the Military Health System eligible and authorized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

U.S. continues sending medical supplies to India for COVID-19 fight

Article
5/3/2021
A picture of a C-5M Super Galaxy

DOD provides medical aid to India in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Easy as 1-2-3 Screensaver

Infographic
5/3/2021
Graphic saying that beneficiaries can scan the QR code or visit www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments to see what appointment tool their DOD vaccine site is using. Graphic is framed by navy boarders and includes a QR code, and the TRICARE logo on the bottom center.

Graphic saying that beneficiaries can scan the QR code or visit www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments to see what appointment tool their DOD vaccine site is using. Graphic is framed by navy boarders and includes a QR code, and the TRICARE logo on the bottom center.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccine Eligibility

Easy as 1-2-3 Graphic

Infographic
5/3/2021
Graphic stating scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment is easy and links to www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments. Graphic is framed by navy boarders and includes a scannable QR code, and the TRICARE and MHS logo on the bottom center.

Graphic stating scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine appointment is easy and links to www.TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments. Graphic is framed by navy boarders and includes a scannable QR code, and the TRICARE and MHS logo on the bottom center.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Vaccine Eligibility

U.S. Army Medical Team Administers COVID-19 Vaccines in Guam

Article
4/29/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask administering the COVID-19 vaccine

Army medical professionals assist in administering COVID-19 vaccine doses to local Guamanians.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Readiness Capabilities

Military kids are resilient, but far from immune to pandemic effects

Article
4/28/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask holding up posters for Month of the Military Child

Military children are known for being resilient to constant change, but COVID-19 has affected their mental health, too.

Recommended Content:

Month of the Military Child Toolkit | Children's Health | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Staying Resilient | Coronavirus

COVID-19 remote patient monitoring pilot marks initial successes

Article
4/27/2021
Photo of Army Maj. Daniel Yourk

Virtual health and other digital health technologies are an essential part of care delivery going forward for all patients, and especially the most vulnerable.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Join Us!! Fourth COVID-19 Townhall Update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm!

Article
4/27/2021
Fourth MHS Town Hall announcement with image of Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm, discussing the Critical Need for Blood Donations, Wednesday, April 28 at 2 p.m. ET

Join us for the MHS' Fourth COVID-19 Townhall Update with Lt. Col. Matthew T. Swingholm

Recommended Content:

Armed Services Blood Program | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA’s immunization health care specialists support vaccine rollout

Article
4/26/2021
Military personnel getting COVID-19 vaccines ready

The Defense Health Agency’s Immunization Health Care Division specialists were instrumental in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines to Department of Defense military medical treatment facilities around the world.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

From coast to coast, Navy personnel helping stop COVID-19 spread

Article
4/26/2021
Military personnel wearing face mask getting people ready for the COVID-19 vaccine

From coast to coast, Navy Medicine personnel are helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Toolkit

DHA Appointing Portal simplifies signing up for COVID-19 vaccination

Article
4/23/2021
Military health personnel wearing a face mask scheduling COVID-19 vaccine shots

A new online and easy-to-use COVID-19 vaccine appointment portal is rolling out around the world at Military Treatment Facilities. It needs some tweaking on the admin end, users say.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 33

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.