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NEWS | April 17, 2020

Reporting paramount to slowing virus, sustaining ready forces

By Lori A. Bultman 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a serious responsibility – a responsibility that all Americans share and one that is vital to preventing unnecessary illness, further nationwide financial crisis, and even death.

It is also crucial to ensuring the nation’s military forces maintain readiness for any mission that may arise, including assisting with pandemic response efforts. 

“During this time, it is vital that we continue to maximize physical distance to combat the spread of the virus while also ensuring resiliency and social connectedness across JBSA,” said Brig. Gen. Laura L. Lenderman, 502d Air Base Wing and Joint Base San Antonio commander.

To reinforce that goal, and to ensure all JBSA members understand the importance of reporting symptoms of the illness, Lenderman released an updated self-reporting general order. The order is applicable to all U.S. military personnel presently assigned to, or serving on, JBSA, and it is highly encouraged that Department of Defense civil service employees, contractors and family members also abide by the order. 

According to the order, all JBSA military members must report any restriction of movement, quarantine, isolation, or persons under investigation, or RQIP, status, as well as positive COVID-19 test results, to their chain of command immediately, but absolutely within 24 hours of notification. 

Civil service employees should report to their supervisory chain of command; contract employees should report to their employer, who will report to their contracting officer; and family members should report to their sponsor, who will then report to their chain of command. 

“It is extremely important that everyone reports health status changes to their chain of command promptly,” said Col. Robert York, 502d ABW Public Health Emergency Officer. “Timely notification allows commanders to follow up with you to ensure you are recovering well. It also enables public health to track possible contacts that may have also been exposed. Ultimately, but acting quickly, this helps break the transmission chain and flattens the pandemic curve, protecting everyone.”

Lenderman’s self-reporting order is intended to remind everyone how essential early reporting is to ensuring forces remain ready and essential missions continue.

“As the JBSA commander, I have a duty to promote and safeguard the morale, physical well-being, and the general welfare of persons under my command,” Lenderman said. 

“It is the Department of Defense and Military Service policy that military installations, property, personnel, and other individuals working or residing on military installations, will be protected under applicable legal authorities against communicable diseases associated with biological warfare, terrorism, or other public health emergencies,” she said.

“Reporting RQIP status and positive COVID-19 test results allows us to protect our military members, families, and local community.”