Coronavirus – What Military Families Should Know

March 13, 2020

The health and safety of our members, partners, staff, and volunteers is Blue Star Families’ top priority. Our entire team is diligently monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it continues to evolve, and we’re fully aware that military families want and need trusted resources on how to keep themselves healthy and safe.

So, today, we’re continuing to maintain full transparency with you, especially during such uncertain times, by sharing the steps we’re taking as an organization as well as the questions we’re directly asking authorities. We will update this article as we receive answers in the coming days, weeks, and/or months.

Blue Star Families Events

At this time, we have decided to cancel or postpone events or engage in virtual settings until April 16, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and make any adjustments necessary to ensure the health and well-being of the entire Blue Star Families community.

If You Are Concerned, You Might Have COVID-19

According to the Defense Health Agency (DHA), if you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, or traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19:

  • Do NOT make an appointment or walk into your local military hospital or clinic.
  • Stay at home and call a Military Health System (MHS) registered nurse who will assess your symptoms. The nurse can screen you for potential or suspected exposure or infection.
  • If needed, they can coordinate a virtual visit with a health care provider.

PCS AND TRAVEL

How will the COVID-19 travel restrictions impact military members and families, especially those in the midst of PCS to or from one of the affected locations?  

The DoD has just published to address many of those travel restriction questions, click here to read.

Move.Mil has provided guidance on their website for families whose PCSs are affected. If you are concerned about your planned PCS, Move.mil says to contact the chain of command immediately.

DODEA SCHOOLS & CDCs

Current DoDEA School Closures:

Schools in Fort Knox, KY, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, Bahrain, and South Korea are currently closed to students. Stay up to date with the closures here.

What are extra precautions being taken in schools and the CDCs to stop the viral spread?

Child development centers and family child care homes routinely follow health and safety practices to include frequent hand washing, sanitizing surfaces with a bleach-water solution prepared daily, sanitizing cribs and cots used for napping. Children are screened daily to ensure they are free from communicable diseases; they are isolated and sent home in the event they develop a fever or are unable to participate in daily activities.  These practices are in place and are part of a regular daily routine. Installation commanders will implement necessary measures based on local situations and with guidance from local public health officials and the CDC.

Resources:

  • TRICARE beneficiaries, the Military Health System has established a microsite to be the primary information resource for MHS beneficiaries, click here to visit 
  • Military OneSource has Coronavirus information for the military community, click here to read.
  • The DoD will continue to update the main DoD COVID-19 information page, here. Visit this webpage regularly for the latest information on DoD policies and actions to protect our force, families, and missions as this serious situation continues to evolve.