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NEWS | April 10, 2020

Feedback Fridays

By Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman 502d Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio Commander

Feedback Fridays is a weekly forum that aims to connect the 502d Air Base Wing with members of the Joint Base San Antonio community. Questions are collected during commander’s calls, town hall meetings and throughout the week.

If you have a question or concern, please send an email to RandolphPublicAffairs@us.af.mil using the subject line “Feedback Fridays.” Questions will be further researched and published as information becomes available.

COVID-19

Q. If we believe we have symptoms of the virus and self-quarantine, when do we come in for medical attention, especially if I’m being affected so much that I can’t function?

A. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.

For healthcare questions and concerns, beneficiaries should call the San Antonio Military Health System COVID-19 Nurse Advice Line at 210-581-2266, Option 6, to book a CAMO appointment or for home-care instructions. The advice line is available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

After hours, please call the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1 or visit MHSNurseAdviceLine.com for a web or video chat.

As an additional resource, the CDC has an interactive COVID-19 Self-Checker that’s intended as a guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html, and click on Coronavirus  Self-Checker.

Q. My husband and I were tested for COVID-19 at Brooke Army Medical Center and were told test results would be in 4-5 days. On day 6, still no notification.

We called infectious disease clinic with only a recorded message and are now being told civilians won’t be notified for up to 5 business days. Why not post a secure message to TRICARE online for notification or push out results to primary care managers for notification, so that we can notify potential people of exposure.

Also why is the COVID-19 test being labeled as influenza A-B test on our medical record? Are we not truly being tested for the virus?

A. Due to the influx of tests being run, results are talking longer than the 4-5 days originally anticipated. Patients are instructed to call their primary care provider if labs not back after 5-6 days.

If test results are complete, providers will be able to view them in a patient’s medical record. In the meantime, people who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms are recommended to self-isolate. When our medical teams first started testing, out of an abundance of caution, they also ran flu tests and these results are posted in your medical record. This is separate from the COVID-19 test.

In general, if you are feeling ill, please stay home and call before coming in to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection to yourself and others.

In an effort to improve your access to healthcare information, the San Antonio Military Health System has launched a new COVID-19 Nurse Advice Line for beneficiaries. Call 210-581-2266, Option 6, to book a CAMO appointment or for home-care instructions. The advice line is available Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. After hours, please call the MHS Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (874-2273), option 1 or visit MHSNurseAdviceLine.com for a web or video chat. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911.

As an additional resource, the CDC has an interactive COVID-19 Self-Checker that’s intended as a guide to help you make decisions and seek appropriate medical care. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/testing.html and click on Coronavirus Self-Checker.

INSTALLATION & FACILITIES

Q. Last year, there was an open house meeting regarding the JBSA-Fort Sam Houston Benner Barracks pertaining to the dorm mold mitigation plan. Can a status update be provided on phase 3 and having the rooms professionally treated and cleaned?

A. Thank you for your question. Barracks, Ships and Dorms, or BSD, have been a top priority for me and my team.

During last year’s JBSA-wide dorm inspection (Phase 1) and mold clean-up efforts (Phase 2), all 8,000-plus rooms across JBSA were inspected, and any observed mold was cleaned through in-house or contracted cleaning teams.

In total, the Air Force invested $4.5 million in this effort, to include facility repairs and improvements to help prevent reoccurrences.

This event generated a number of lessons learned that informed our long-term strategy (Phase 3) to reduce the risk of reoccurrences.

One action includes continued investments into repairing and/or replacing JBSA BSDs. For JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, this includes construction of a new permanent party dorm, which is currently underway and projected for occupancy in November 2021.

Once that facility is brought online, there will be subsequent investments into Benner and Okubo dorms, taking advantage of the swing space created by the facility. These investments are projected at $25 million between FY23 and FY27. In the meantime, CE will continue to make targeted investments on specific issues and preventive maintenance.

Another action identified for phase 3 is improved cleaning and room inspection oversight. For permanent party BSDs, all mission partners are provided minimum cleaning requirements and have access to cleaning supplies through the dorm management office.

Additionally, rooms should be inspected monthly by unit leadership and dorm management to help ensure proper room maintenance, and identify any issues which may lead to mold concerns.

Occupants are also advised to report any water leaks or HVAC issues immediately to dorm management to help prevent future mold growth occurrences. Occupants are also required to inform dorm management of any long periods of time (i.e. TDY, leave or field training) where the room may be left unoccupied, potentially resulting in issues arising unobserved.

There are additional efforts underway regarding updated policies, improved preventive maintenance, increased contract support vehicles, expanded dorm management tools, dedicated maintenance teams and improved facility sustainability that is also being incorporated into our long term strategy. These improvements will be shared with residents and leadership as they are resourced and implemented.

Lastly, if you should be experiencing any issues with your living quarters, please inform dorm management and/or your unit leadership as soon as possible so we can work to resolve. Thank you again for your feedback, and giving me the chance to provide an update on the great work our CE team is doing for our BSDs!

Q. The speed bumps at the JBSA-Lackland Selfridge East gate are a bit extreme. I saw a Ford SUV hit them at 5 MPH, bottom out AND nearly lose control. I have to come to a complete stop and crawl over them or I bottom out in the Prius. I don’t bottom out at any of the other gates at JBSA-Lackland. They are too high by about 1-1.5 inches over the speed bumps at the other gates, at least in my opinion. Maybe if they were wider, then your tires could stay on them longer which would keep your midsection from bottoming out so quickly.

A. Thank you for sharing your concerns. All speed bumps across JBSA are undergoing an upgrade, over a multi-year period, due to changes in the Department of Defense policy called the “Unified Facilities Criteria.”

These new speed bumps and their size are mandated to help better protect DOD installations and the workforce against high-speed vehicles that don’t have to negotiate barriers at slow speed when driving through the inbound and outbound lanes at the gate.

While inconvenient, these specifications were certified to be negotiable at the proper speed for any vehicle. Thank you for your patience and cooperation with these needed security measures to keep JBSA and our DOD warfighters safe.

Q. Can you give gate guards some support during peak traffic periods? I have spoken to military guards and they are frustrated. The traffic backups are a safety hazard. I was recently at Dyess Air Force Base and they had 4-6 guards checking incoming traffic in the morning.

A. Thank you for your concern about our hard-working Defenders at the gates. Our Security Forces commanders regularly consider utilization of all gates, traffic flows and available manpower to best balance gate availability, guard workload and overall required security of our JBSA community.

To minimize traffic backups, our Defenders regularly meet with the Texas Department of Transportation who control the public roads and intersection lights at our gates.

In addition, we appreciate drivers being attentive and prepared to show their ID cards upon meeting the gate guard and driving a little further to less busy gates.

Q. Will you please provide a POC, website, or other resource to obtain the commander-approved designated tobacco area siting map including the number and location of DTAs for JBSA-Randolph in accordance with Air Force Instruction 48-104 2.7.3?

A. Thank you very much for your question. There are locations that were previously approved as Designated Tobacco Areas, or DTA, which are maintained in CE’s mapping system database; however, these locations are no longer valid based on revised medical AFI guidance that was published last year.

Our CE team is replotting locations based on the new criteria and plans to have those draft maps developed this spring. At that point, our Community Planning Office will identify which areas should become, or in the case of acceptable existing sites remain as, DTAs.

Once finalized, the revised map will be coordinated with the 502d Air Base Wing and the medical community for approval. At that time, the map will be available on our Geobase SharePoint website to facility managers. So be on the lookout!

Q. Prior to the COVID-19 response, I frequently used the Rambler Fitness Center at JBSA-Randolph and noticed that the showers smelled of mildew and the shower curtains have mold on the bottom and that the plastic holders that hold shampoo, etc., in the showers are dirty or moldy. This not acceptable and not healthy by any means. I see the cleaning folks in their cleaning the bathrooms but I have never seen anyone clean the showers at all.

A. Thank you for sharing your concerns. The Rambler Fitness Center showers are covered under a custodial service contract that is overseen by our CE team, and includes twice daily cleaning and disinfection of the shower walls, curtains and fixtures.

Our Custodial Contract Officer Representatives, or CORS, documented the contractor’s sub-standard performance. They are also working with our Contracting Office to issue a Contractor Discrepancy Report to request improvement in performance.

We expect to see improved conditions in these areas very soon, however, if the problem persists, please refer any specific facility concerns to the fitness center front desk who can in turn work with the facility manager to address the issues with our CE team. Thank you for raising your concerns so that our FSS and CE teams can strive to provide the best services we can to our community.

MISCELLANEOUS

Q. Can you please tell me what the purpose of the commissary “reset” is? Once the most recent dates for JBSA-Randolph were announced, I asked the cashier every time I went in why it was done. No one could tell me. This week I heard, thankfully, it was postponed because the people that did it were not traveling due to corona virus. This suggests in addition to what I view as unnecessary confusion that we’re paying travel and per diem for this exercise. I was stationed here for four years in the 90s and never once did this crazy shuffle occur. Though retired from the U.S. Air Force, I teach at an elementary school so my free time is minimal. I go to the commissary each week and don’t travel every aisle. I go in, get my 20-25 items quickly and get out. I hit H-E-B about every three months for stuff the commissary doesn’t carry. In the 15 years I have been back in Universal City, I can always locate what I need at H-E-B and that’s because they don’t do “resets.” Why do you waste people’s time with this exercise? Thank you for a response preferably published since I hear other people grumbling about this issue.

A. Thank you very much for your question. We shared your question with the Defense Commissary Agency (DECA).

The store reset at the commissary was done to better meet patrons’ shopping patterns with complimentary category and item adjacencies based on an overall shift in internal and external patron shopping patterns. The reset allowed DECA to update the store and provide customers with a more impactful product assortment and greater variety of items in some trending categories as well as a more complimentary store flow.

In order to assists patrons in adjusting to the stores new layout, handouts of the new layout with the new category locations are available at the store. DECA encourages customers to speak with the store directors for assistance. They can provide additional information about the reset and tips to facilitate your next shopping trip.