There’s mild on the finish of the COVID-19 tunnel, however DOD — like the USA as a complete — faces some robust occasions, Pentagon officers stated at present.
Like the remainder of the nation, DOD has skilled an increase within the variety of instances of COVID-19 and commanders are taking steps to cease the unfold of the illness, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman, stated throughout a press convention.
“We have seen a normal uptick in COVID-19 optimistic instances as we head into the vacation season,” he stated. “We wished to take this chance to re-emphasize the significance of taking preventive measures to mitigate towards the unfold of coronavirus, notably following CDC tips.”
These tips embody sporting a masks, washing arms and sustaining a social distance of at the very least six ft. The DOD will adhere to those requirements, Hoffman stated. A part of the efforts towards the coronavirus is upping safety on the Pentagon, for instance, to well being situation bravo plus. The transfer mirrored what many commanders in lots of bases world wide have carried out, Hoffman stated.
“These modifications are based mostly on authorities delegated in March, giving commanders the pliability to reply in the perfect curiosity of their personnel by sustaining mission effectiveness,” Hoffman stated. “We are going to in fact maintain everybody posted on extra drive situation stage modifications.”
Hoffman additionally spoke concerning the progress in producing a vaccine towards the virus that has killed greater than 258,000 Individuals. There at the moment are three vaccines which have confirmed efficacious, and DOD officers are working with Operation Warp Pace to get the vaccines to the individuals who want them most.
“We at the moment are a big step nearer to ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated. “And within the coming weeks, Individuals will start to see vaccine distribution far and vast. The division continues to help this whole-of-government response and is immensely pleased with the work that has gone into Warp Pace.”
The primary vaccines — by steerage of the Facilities for Illness Management — will go to well being care staff, and people notably weak to coronavirus. Hoffman stated DOD officers are nonetheless working with CDC specialists to find out the place service members and their households match within the precedence checklist.
The mission for DOD on the subject of COVID-19 has been secure for the reason that starting of the pandemic in February: the safety of the DOD workforce, the continuation of the DOD mission and to help the whole-of-government strategy to combating the virus, stated Ken Rapuano, the assistant secretary of protection for homeland protection and international safety.
DOD’s major help to the U.S. authorities response has been offering navy medical personnel to enhance civilian medical amenities in areas experiencing excessive COVID-19 hospitalization charges, Rapuano stated. Immediately, there are greater than 20,000 Nationwide Guardsmen deployed in 52 states and territories, offering COVID-19 help. DOD has navy medical personnel on prepare-to-deploy orders accessible to help state and native requests. These medics could possibly be in place in lower than 48 hours from getting the decision.
DOD personnel are working in El Paso, Texas, the place COVID-19 has overwhelmed native efforts to deal with the illness. There are additionally DOD personnel working in North Dakota and Guam.
DOD has additionally offered hundreds of thousands of N-95 masks to civilian first responders, greater than seven million swab assessments and nearly 1,000 ventilators.
On the analysis and improvement entrance, DOD has spent nearly 1.5 billion, Rapuano stated.