The COVID-19 threat has prompted frequent policy changes, updated guidance, and multiple event cancellations as federal and local agencies of all types attempt to contain the virus. Below, you'll find links to some of these updates, as well as fact sheets and other related materials.
[LATEST NEWS AND UPDATES: MOAA.org/coronavirus]
Please note: These materials were compiled by MOAA on March 11; expect some of them to be overcome by events in the near future. For the latest information, and for details on what you should do if you suspect you've been exposed to the virus, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 website.
Message to Veterans: VA officials stressed two points in a March 10 message to MOAA and other veterans service organizations:
- Veterans should consider telehealth options to receive VA care, thereby reducing exposure risk and limiting in-person patient load.
- Those who do visit a VA facility will be screened for fever, cough, and flu-like symptoms before entry. Those with such symptoms should call ahead to notify providers, and all visitors should allow for extra time for screening.
Links to Know: The latest from the VA on COVID-19 is available here. Veterans interested in VA Video Connect or other telehealth options can visit the VA App Store. Get some basic prevention tips from the VA here.
Latest News: The VA's nursing homes and spinal cord care centers will have a no-visitors policy, with very limited exceptions, until further notice. ... Five VA patients had tested postive for the virus as of March 10, with four of those tests awaiting confirmation. ... Multiple VA facilities have canceled events out of concern for patient and visitor health; learn more about your location's changes via the VA's online locator.
Risk Remains Low: DoD updated its guidance earlier this week, with Brig. Gen. (Dr.) Paul Friedrichs, USAF, the Joint Staff surgeon, stressing common-sense actions such as wiping down workspaces and maintaining distance between individuals. "The immediate risk to our force remains low," Friedrichs said in a briefing.
Taking Action: New York National Guard members are in the New York City suburb of New Rochelle to assist in setting up a containment area. Meanwhile, four military installations -- Travis AFB and Miramar MCAS in California, Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia, and Lackland AFB in Texas -- will be used to house passengers from the ocean liner Grand Princess, which recently docked in Oakland, Calif.
Calendar Changes: An array of events are being shelved because of health concerns, with more cancellations likely. Military.com's March 9 roundup includes items from the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force, while fears of the spread have reached the Arctic Circle.
Latest News: Follow the latest from DoD on its Coronavirus Spotlight page. ... Military Times also has a COVID-19 page, which includes an update on potential curtailment of military moves and deployments, as well as news on a deal between the Army and a drug manufacturer on a potential treatment. ... As of March 10, there were at least 11 COVID-19 cases among DoD personnel, dependents, and contractors.
- TRICARE beneficiaries can keep up with the latest here.
- As part of spread-mitigation efforts, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Service is conducting a telework test Thursday. NOAA recently postponed its Open House.
- The Coast Guard's Coronavirus page includes answers to frequently asked questions, links to resources, and more.