JBMDL postured to support HHS in novel coronavirus response

By Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | 87th ABW Public Affairs | Feb. 6, 2020


At the direction of the Secretary of Defense, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst has been selected to assist the Department of Health and Human Services in housing up to 20 individuals with possible exposure to the novel coronavirus.

JBMDL’s only role is to provide support by housing incoming passengers for observation, specifically any passengers identified for quarantine arriving to Newark International Airport, New Jersey. They will be housed for up to 14 days in a stand-alone building at the Doughboy Inn on JBMDL to be assessed for symptoms by HHS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention personnel.

This is a preventative measure. Every passenger receives multiple, thorough screenings before leaving from overseas and again upon arrival to the United States. HHS will be responsible for all care, transportation, and security of the passengers during the quarantine period. Anyone showing symptoms of the infection will be transported to an off-base medical facility for a full medical evaluation, treatment, and isolation.

JBMDL personnel will not be directly in contact with the passengers, and passengers will not have access to any base location other than their assigned lodging. CDC personnel follow procedures to ensure proper sanitary/protection measures are taken when interacting with quarantined individuals to avoid any spread of potential contamination. A safety cordon will be established to ensure the JBMDL mission can safely continue, the privacy of the passengers can be assured, and to protect the health and welfare of our community.

No other individuals are staying at the Doughboy Inn at this time, as the base has multiple lodging facilities. Military personnel who would have normally used the Doughboy Inn, will be accommodated in other lodging facilities on base or will be able to receive non-availability letters that assure they are reimbursed at the proper rate for off-base lodging.

While the coronavirus is a very serious public health threat, CDC assesses the immediate health risk to the general public as low. For more information about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC website:

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

The Defense Department has created a Spotlight Page on its website to convey latest updates as the novel coronavirus - www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/

The public health and safety of our personnel and their families is the primary responsibility and priority of our base leadership team.

Questions outside of the DoD scope of lodging support should be directed to HHS or CDC Public Information Offices.