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4 US military bases to house 1,000 US evacuees from China during coronavirus quarantine

The $20 million, 51,000 square-foot complex, marks Travis Air Force Base’s first “Dorms-4-Airmen” unaccompanied housing initiative. “Dorms-4-Airmen” concept is designed to provide a four-person module with four private bedrooms, private baths, individual closets, a shared kitchen and laundry area and a common living room. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Charles V. Rivezzo)
February 03, 2020

The U.S. military will provide housing for up to 1,000 Americans who will be quarantined upon their return from China, the Pentagon confirmed on Monday.

“I approved a request for assistance from HHS for housing support for 1,000 individuals who may need to be quarantined from overseas. DoD is following CDC guidelines and monitoring the situation. I talked with Gen. O’Shaughnessy to ensure he has all the resources he needs,” Secretary of Defense Mark Esper tweeted on Monday afternoon.

“We are doing everything possible to safeguard our personnel. My highest priority is the protection of our members, families and base communities,” he added.

“DoD will only provide housing support; DoD personnel will not be in direct contact w/evacuees, nor will the evacuees have access to the base facilities beyond their housing,” Esper noted.

According to an Army press release on Saturday, the housing facilities allocated for quarantine will be located at four U.S. military bases:

  • The 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute, Fort Carson, Colo.
  • Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
  • Lackland Air Force Base, Texas
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.

“HHS officials requested the Defense Department to provide several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through Feb. 29, 2020,” the press release said.

The press release noted that the HHS will be in charge of administering care, transportation, and security for all quarantined evacuees. The quarantine period will last for 14 days, and any individuals diagnosed with the virus will be transported to a civilian hospital.

On Thursday, the Pentagon released a memo providing guidance for all DOD personnel amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The memo encourages personnel to acquire the flu vaccine, follow sanitization procedures, be cautious of interacting with those who recently returned from China, and seek medical care immediately if experiencing any known symptoms of the virus.

On Friday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in the U.S. in response to the coronavirus.

“While this virus poses a serious public health threat, the risk to the American public remains low at this time, and we are working to keep this risk low,” Secretary Azar said. “We are committed to protecting the health and safety of all Americans, and this public health emergency declaration is the latest in the series of steps the Trump Administration has taken to protect our country.”

The Department of State also issued a level 4 travel advisory, warning all U.S. citizens to avoid travel to China.