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 25; 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.
The VA continues to roll out online resources for veterans who may be affected by the virus. Among some of the latest materials:
- A PDF download outlining home-care options for beneficiaries, including how to get prescription refills by mail, how to schedule telehealth appointments, and how to send secure messages to your providers.
- A list of resources for veterans (and others) about the pandemic. Noteworthy: Websites hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) dedicated to debunking myths about the virus and offering tips on how you can help the cause.
- An updated list of frequently asked questions addressing all manner of VA responses, from urgent care needs to telehealth options to veterans feeling anxious or overwhelmed during this period of uncertainty.
Also, check out a breakdown of the $20 billion veterans will receive as part of the pandemic response, courtesy of Military.com. The funds will be used, in part, to support and expand telehealth operations, as well as give the VA the option to provide monetary benefits to veterans or family members even if income levels would exclude them from relief earmarked for the rest of the population. (Here's a piece from Military Times covering both DoD and VA funds.)
Medical services on hold. Non-emergency surgeries, as well as dental procedures, will stop throughout the military medical system from March 31 through the end of may, per a Military Times report.
Navy's special challenges. The good: Hospital ships are either en route or undergoing preparations to assist cities on both coasts in dealing with the pandemic. The bad: The service is the hardest hit within DoD and is dealing with its first case aboard a deployed warship.
From the top: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, along with Gen. Mark Milley, USA, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ramón ''CZ'' Colón-López, USAF, conducted a March 24 virtual town hall on DoD's response to the pandemic. Read more (and watch) here.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Website
- CDC Advice for Higher-Risk Individuals
- VA Coronavirus Website
- TRICARE Coronavirus Information
- DoD Coronavirus Response Website
- Health.mil Coronavirus Information
- National Institutes of Health Coronavirus Information
- Latest Coronavirus News from Military.com
- Latest Coronavirus News from Military Times
Notes to Know
This Army lieutenant is on the front line of the vaccine fight. ... Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie penned a commentary for Military Times about his department's repsonse to the pandemic. ... From DoD, a recap of National Guard deployments in response to COVID-19: Already 10,000 servicemembers, with more expected soon. An update from Stars and Stripes about a 90-day pause to the VA's community care program.