JBSA Fitness Center Reopening Procedures - May 22, 2020
JBSA Commander's Update - May 22, 2020
JBSA Commander's Update - April 1, 2020
JBSA Virtual Town Hall - March 26, 2020
JBSA Commander's Update - March 21, 2020
JBSA Commander's Update - March 18, 2020
JBSA Commander's Update - March 15, 2020
Declaration of Public Health Emergency Regarding COVID-19 - Mar. 23, 2020
Stay Home, Work Safe Order - Mar. 24, 2020
Stop Movement for all Domestic Travel
Travel Restrictions for DOD Components
Frequently Asked Questions
U.S. Air Force
U.S. Coast Guard
CDC/HHS Official Statement
DoD Evacuation Flights Statement
Q. What is the 2019 Novel Coronavirus?
A. The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
Q. How does the virus spread?
A. Much is unknown about how 2019-nCoV, a new coronavirus, spreads. Current knowledge is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. It is likely that the virus originally emerged from an animal source and now can be spread from person-to-person. Most often, person-to-person spread of the virus happens among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/ coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.
Q. What should I do if I think I have coronavirus?
A. While 2019-nCoV poses a serious public health threat, CDC believes the immediate risk to the U.S. public continues to be low at this time. If you feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, and have traveled to China or were in close contact with someone with 2019-nCoV in the 14 days before you began to feel sick, seek medical care. Before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms. Military Treatment Facilities have provided guidance on how to address such circumstances.
Q. Is it safe to travel to China?
A. The Department of State recently adjusted the travel advisory for China to Level 4, meaning individuals should not travel there. The commander of U.S Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM), in support of the U.S. Department of State's Level 4 Travel Advisory, has restricted all DOD travel to the People's Republic of China (PRC).
Q. What should DOD Civilians do if they believe they may have contracted Coronavirus?
A. Employees should be seen by his/her Primary Care Manager if exposure is a possibility and there are symptoms. Moreover, assuming the person is symptomatic AND unable to perform official duties, he or she should take sick leave. If the person is symptomatic and able to perform official duties, in a position where telework is authorized, and has a signed telework agreement, then he/she could telework.
Q. Why is DOD involved with the coronavirus response?
A. The Defense Department is supporting our interagency partners by housing passengers during their 14-day quarantine period. Health Security is a pillar of national security, and DoD has an important role in supporting the implementation of the federal quarantine orders and ensuring the safety of those evacuating to the United States, as well as those on our base and in our communities.
Q. Who is being evacuated?
A. The individuals being evacuated from China are U.S. citizens and exempted persons (immediate family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents of the U.S.). These individuals are not currently known to be ill, and are being screened before leaving and upon arrival to the U.S. They will be quarantined for 14 days and carefully monitored to ensure they do not become ill with coronavirus before being released. Many of these individuals are leaving a challenging situation in China, and our focus will be to support and help deliver a safe and dignified transition into the United States. We stand ready to help these individuals while ensuring the safety of all Americans.
Q. Why was JBSA-Lackland chosen, despite its weekly influx of visitors and growing surrounding community of San Antonio?
A. JBSA-Lackland was chosen by the DOD because it has the resources required to meet the needs of this effort. JBSA has some of the largest lodging capacity in the DOD, including the most single rooms without shared bathrooms, space to isolate quarantined passengers from the rest of the installation and local population, and easy access to world-class medical facilities in the San Antonio community. In addition, JBSA-Lackland has a flight line within DOD secured boundaries capable of receiving a large commuter aircraft. JBSA is able to provide the support requested without negatively impacting readiness or critical operations, as well as Team JBSA's history of providing humanitarian support and shelter to persons displaced by natural disasters. JBSA and the San Antonio community have a long reputation for partnership, and we will continue to work together to ensure quarantined U.S. residents are kept safe and secure until they are released by HHS/CDC and able to resume their lives.
Q. How were people in the surrounding areas of the bases notified of the incoming flights?
A. On Feb. 1, at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, JBSA-Lackland was one of four installations selected to assist the Department of Health and Human Services for lodging individuals traveling from overseas due to the novel coronavirus. JBSA released a statement on the request to support HHS, as well as base leadership contacted civic leaders, via email, in the San Antonio and surrounding areas after the SECDEF announcement. The base is working closely with HHS and CDC officials, and information will be provided as soon as available.
Q. What role does HHS/CDC play in the evacuation process?
A. CDC’s goal is to complete the health screening and quarantine activities in a manner that safeguards the health and safety of all passengers and the people of the United States. The Federal Quarantine Order will last for at least 14 days from when a person was last in an area where the virus was being spread. CDC medical professionals repeatedly check passengers for symptoms such as: fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. CDC will also ask a series of questions about each passenger’s health and risk of exposures to others with the 2019 novel coronavirus. If a passenger begins to experience symptoms (fever, coughing, or difficulty breathing) while in quarantine, the individual will be evaluated regarding the need for further treatment or transportation to a local healthcare facility.
37th Training Wing BMT & Tech Training FAQ
Q. Why is Basic Military Training still in effect?
A: Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander, Air Education and Training Command, declared Basic Military Training (BMT), technical training, and flight training as mission essential. Training in the “non” mission essential category is suspended. In order to meet Air Force requirements around the world, we must continue training. These are unprecedented times, with the situation evolving daily. Leaders at every level are making continuous assessments in order to protect the force’s health and safety.
Q. Can I still attend my loved ones BMT graduation events?
A. Out of an abundance of caution, JBSA officials will suspend all guest attendance for mass gatherings that are not deemed mission essential, to include basic military training (BMT) graduation ceremonies and BMT coining ceremonies to reduce potential spread of COVID-19. JBSA officials will continue to monitor and discuss the situation with medical experts to determine when guest attendance at graduation events will resume.
In the meantime, BMT graduations will be live-streamed on the USAF Basic Military Training Facebook page: @USAFBMT and will be archived for later viewing on the 37th Training Wing YouTube Channel.
Q. Why is BMT graduation now on Thursday?
A. During the COVID-19 pandemic, BMT graduations will take place on Thursday to allow Airmen to begin transitioning to technical training on Friday, freeing up space on the BMT campus. This allows the 37th Training Wing team to have additional cleaning time of the dormitories.
Q. Are new trainees still arriving to Basic Military Training at Joint Base San Antonio?
A. Yes, the 37th Training Wing will continue to receive the arrival of new trainees. Along with implementing a restriction of movement (ROM) for 14 days upon arrival, BMT has begun screening all recruits and will monitor every member during their time at BMT for symptoms. (They are also screened at their Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) prior to shipment.)
This 14-day ROM does not impact the trainee’s graduation date or time at BMT. It still remains 8.5 weeks, as BMT leadership is looking at creative ways of accomplishing the required curriculum to allow trainees to graduate on time.
Schedules have been adjusted to reduce interaction with other flights and have increased cleaning measures across all components. We are working with our medical and support experts to ensure our Airmen are protected to the maximum extent possible. For more information: Latest Air Force trainees continue BMT with enhanced mitigation efforts.
Q: If there is a positive case in BMT, what will be the response and decontamination process?
A: If a trainee tests positive for COVID-19, the medical community will conduct contact tracing and identify all areas which were impacted. These areas will undergo extensive professional cleaning.
The positive trainee will receive the required medical care and other trainees who were exposed to that member will be placed in a 14-day quarantine and monitored for symptoms. Once they clear the incubation period without symptoms under quarantine, they can return to training.
Q: Are trainees going to be allowed to call home?
A: Yes, effective March 23, 2020, all trainees, regardless of week of training will be allowed to call home weekly to update family members on their status.
Q: Will Air National Guard and Reserve recruits be able to return home after graduating Basic Military Training?
A: Yes, we will adhere to the established policies by the Air National Guard and Reserve for trainees to return home.
Q. Why is tech training continuing during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: We understand the concerns being expressed for the safety of all those attending technical training at JBSA. At this time, Air Education and Training Command has deemed technical training to be mission essential and will continue on as planned.
We take the safety and well-being of our personnel and trainees very seriously and will continue to re-evaluate as needed. Please visit the following link for more information on AETC mission-essential training the following article: AETC issues official COVID-19 mission essential training determination, authorizes travel.
Q. How will Airmen get to technical training while mitigating travel risks?
A. BMT works with each technical training location to move Airmen in a variety of transportation means. All departing Airmen receive a pre-departure health, morale, welfare and safety briefing from leadership to ensure the latest DoD travel protocols are being met. These briefings are modified as needed to mitigate risk as the situation changes.
Q: Will students in technical training be allowed off base, or have their family visit?
A: The Airman’s new squadrons will provide them an update on the ability to travel off base or have visitors come to visit based on the direction of the installation commander and DOD guidance. This determination is based on the priority of keeping them safe and the completion of their technical training requirements.
Q: What is the process for Airmen graduating technical training and PCSing to their first duty station?
A. All technical training and specialized undergraduate pilot training graduates currently in technical training, will continue to out-process and travel to their first duty station upon completion of training.
Upon graduation for both technical training and flying training students, losing units will coordinate with the gaining units to work specific mitigation and travel issues as needed. Overseas travel will be coordinated in accordance with DoD guidelines.
Q. Will I be able to attend my Airman’s technical training graduation?
A. Out of an abundance of caution, JBSA officials will suspend all guest attendance for mass gatherings that are not deemed mission essential, including technical training graduation. In addition, technical training graduations are not streamed to the public. Regardless of this restriction, we can assure you they will be celebrated within their units.
Q: What is the process for testing sick Airmen in technical training?
A: As determined by medical professionals, technical training Airmen are being tested for COVID-19 if they are symptomatic. Once tested, the Airmen are placed in isolation for 24 to 48 hours until their test results are returned. During that time food and essentials are provided to our Airmen. Airmen are routinely checked on and have access to their personal items, including cell phones, so they can make contact with their family.
Q: Is there anything in place to keep service-members who are mission-essential from coming home and potentially putting their families at risk?
A: Yes. The 37th Training Wing is in the process of identifying Instructor Cadre, Military Training Leaders, and Animal Caretakers who can temporarily relocate to on-base quarters. This would be a temporary relocation that is at no cost to the member.
Q: Will I still be able to see my Airman graduate Basic Military Training?
A: Only by tuning into livestream of the graduation ceremony on the 37th Training Wing Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/37thTrainingWing/]. For now, Basic Military Training [BMT] graduations will be closed to any visitors. We took our time at making the decision and we do realize that this is a hardship for a lot of people and we're trying to make this period it as smooth as possible. As a part of Military City USA, we bring people from all over the world, and we send them to many other places in the world. Closing BMT graduations and cancelling large gatherings is an action to protect the on- and off-base community.
Q. Can local military attend any of the BMT graduation events?
A. It's going to be closed to everyone except the trainees at this time, although Basic military training graduation events will be livestreamed via the 37th Training Wing’s Facebook page every Friday beginning March 13 at 9 a.m. at https://www.facebook.com/37thTrainingWing/.
Q. How long will BMT graduations be closed to the public?
A. Right now, we just can't make that call of when it's going to end. We'll be watching just as everyone else is and getting the best advice that we can. We will make decisions based on recommendations of our senior leaders. Right now, this is the right thing to do for this environment here at Joint Base San Antonio, to protect all the people on the installation that live and work here, and those that are going to go on to graduate this weekend.
Q. Typically, after graduation, trainees who've graduated have the opportunity to spend time with their families and go off base. Will new Airmen have liberty after they graduate?
A: After graduation, the trainees will go back to the dormitory squadrons as a measure to try to lessen the blow in regards to them not being able to interact with their loved ones, we will allow them to have their phones so they can call and talk with their loved ones. Which is one of the measures that we normally do not do. However, considering the circumstances in the situation that we are making those amends, so that they can at least have phone contact with their loved ones.
Q: Why didn't we just limit the number of BMT graduation guests?
A. It comes down to threat a transmission. One of the things about this virus is that a large percentage somewhat, maybe a little more than 50 percent may have few or very minimal symptoms. Some may have no symptoms at all. So, even with appropriate screening, people may actually inadvertently have the disease or not knowingly have the disease, and potentially expose others. So, again, out of an abundance of caution we thought, because there's active transmission in many areas of the United States where families come from, the prudent thing was to reduce mass gatherings. Because of the mission here and the close proximity of the trainees, we thought it was important to add that aspect of a preventive measure for the mission, and the community we all live in.
Q: Do trainees go near the quarantined area?
A. Our trainees are never even close to being near the individuals that are in quarantined. The quarantine area is completely separate from the BMT training environment and no one ever is allowed to go around in those restricted areas. There is a fence that surrounds the quarantine area as well.
Q: Will technical training graduations be cancelled or will families be allowed to come to those installations to see Airmen?
A: Right now it’s still in those decision spaces that are still being worked within their education and training command. This is definitely a fluid environment in terms of where we are and this is the decision that we've made. For now, this is the near term decision--to cancel mass gatherings, and we'll continue to look and see when we can move forward and allow our graduation ceremonies to reconvene. At this moment, this is the most prudent action that we were able to take based on the evidence that we have.
Q: Why are quarantined individuals on Lackland allowed to be outside of their quarters?
A: Our recommended social distancing is six feet out, and they are far away from anybody because we have fixed zones, so that CDC personnel, base populace and repatriated personnel know their limits, so they can roam outside. According to the CDC, the virus--in sunlight and outside--does not survive very long, so being outside is okay. In fact, I've seen some of the people walking around in their masks so they're being extra cautious as well.
Q: How is this going to impact JBSA when it comes to things like retirement ceremonies, 5K runs, events that the base typically organizes?
A: We're actually working through those questions right now. In the interest of time, we focused in on the military training graduation ceremonies, but we're going to look at each event coming up in the near future. The city of San Antonio is doing the same thing when it comes to things like Fiesta, which is occurring next month. For each case, we are going to take into account the health risk to the Force and the risk to the mission consider. There will be more information to follow, but it'll most likely be on a case-by-case basis.
Q: If a child at the CDC tests positive. Are there plans in place and how will that be handled?
A. We have been talking about this through the health working group we've been talking about what happens if we have a positive test in the Child Development Center, because every parent and family member is mission essential. CDCs will have a direct mission impact on our team. If there is a positive case, that's the job of our health protection working group to follow the protocols in terms of notifications. They'll do some tracing, which is determining who that child came in contact with. If it came to us having to shut down a CDC, we would do that in the abundance of caution to take care of the greater community. But again, this would have a large impact on the mission. We do have quite a few CDCs at JBSA and many children on the waiting list as well, so we recognize that this is an important course of action [COA], or branch that we need to walk through so that we're prepared in case that does happen on our installation.
Q: Is there a way for security at the gate to be able to view ID cards without actually having that person-to-person interaction?
A: There's no driving force for us not to physically check ID cards. Some of our Defenders at the gates are wearing gloves. That's their choice, something that they were comfortable with, but it's not because there's an increased threat through the ID card handling. If there comes a time when we need to step to that next level, then we would consider you just showing your ID card and doing it through the glass window, versus handing it to the security forces member, but we're not at that point yet.
Updated Self-Reporting General Order
Updated JBSA COVID-19 Self Reporting General Order
Tab 1 - Exception Allowing Temporary Acceptance of Certain Expired Credentials during COVID-19 National Emergency
Tab 1 - COVID-19 Recovery CONOPS
JBSA Public Health Emergency Declaration