JBSA-Lackland responds to concerns over quarantine housing plans

Some residents are voicing concern that Lackland Air Force Base has been selected among military installations to house quarantined Americans evacuated from China. The Americans are being evacuated as a result of the coronavirus. Officials announced over the weekend that Lackland was preparing for possible housing of the evacuees and that none of them have shown signs of exposure.

Joint Base San Antonio officials released the following statement on Monday, "Thank you all for being concerned and engaged with the ongoing HHS support at JBSA. We have captured your comments and concerns, and are in the process of creating a “fact sheet/FAQ" to provide a detailed response to all of your questions."

Over the weekend Joint Base San Antonio issued the following statement, "In support of the Department of Health and Human Service's request to the DOD to provide facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through February 29, 2020, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland was selected. Base officials are actively coordinating this support for lodging and associated services to accommodate HHS. JBSA leadership has assessed this support will not negatively impact readiness or critical operations.

JBSA personnel will not be directly in contact with the evacuees, as well as evacuees will not have access to any base location other than their assigned lodging.

JBSA leadership's primary responsibility is the safety of our force, our families and our base communities. This is an evolving situation, and we will provide information to our families and community as available."

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said, "We were notified that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense have decided to evacuate American citizens from China and quarantine them at U.S. military installations, including Lackland Air Force Base. We have been told that these individuals have no symptoms of the virus and pose no risk to our community. We should all be comforted by the extra precautions being taken by federal, state and health local officials. We do not currently have any citizens diagnosed with the coronavirus here in San Antonio, and our Metro Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and exercise an abundance of caution."

In addition to Lackland, Travis Air Force Base and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California and the 168th Regiment, Regional Training Institute in Colorado are some of the locations that would be used for housing.

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