UPDATED 3/28/2020 @ 12:30 P.M.
Laughlin AFB is tracking 5 confirmed caseas in the local area
1 Confirmed case in Eagle Pass
2 Confirmed cases in Uvalde
We are currently at Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie (C)
Please monitor our Facebook page for up-to-date information.
Self-Quarantine Screening Questionnaire
Members of Laughlin are now able to follow this "7-Step" questionnaire to better assist them and their families with determining if further medical attention or action is required.
To view the questionnaire, click HERE
Q: How is Coronavirus (COVID-19) contracted?
A: The virus is spread by respiratory droplets (coughing/sneezing), just like the flu or a cold. The highest risk is being within 6 feet of someone who is infected for greater than 15 minutes. There is a small chance of spread by touching objects (example: doorknobs) that have the virus on them and then touching your mouth or face, but that is not the main way it spreads.
Q: What is the incubation period of COVID-19?
A: Based on information from the CDC, the estimated incubation period is 2 to 14 days. However, that is an estimation, and it could be longer, up to 28 days.
Q: Is COVID-19 deadly?
A: Death is an unlikely outcome from COVID-19. It is important to remember that influenza (flu) is much more likely to cause death than COVID-19. The death rate from COVID-19, outside of China, is estimated at 0.7%. Most of those that have died were elderly or those with significant medical illnesses or a lower immune system response.
Q: What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?
A: Quarantine is the phrase used for isolating people who have no symptoms but had a possible exposure to a high risk illness. Isolation is the phrase used when we isolate people who have symptoms of a high risk illness.
Q: Are there precautions we should take if we think a coworker or friend might be exhibiting symptoms?
A: As with any flu season, if you are close to someone who appears to have flu-like symptoms, you should practice proper hygiene and encourage others to do the same. Stay at least 6 feet away and limit interactions with sick individuals to less than 15 minutes if possible.
-Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
-If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol
-Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
-Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
-Make sure your flu shot is up to date.
SFS will no longer be accepting CACs/I.D.s by hand. Each member must display the front and backside of a given I.D. before entering the installation.
To better serve customers, starting on Wednesday, March 18, the commissary will begin 100% I.D. card checks at the entrance of all stores and will revoke the visitor policy. This will reduce the number of people in the store and help with social distancing and crowd control. Additionally, on Thursday, March 19, the commissary will eliminate "early bird" shopping hours to allow more time for cleaning and re-stocking of our stores. Please be prepared to limit the amount of supplies you buy.
Sunday: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
Tuesday: 10 A.M. - 8 P.M.
Wednesday: 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
Thursday: 10 A.M. - 8 P.M.
Friday: 10 A.M. - 6 P.M.
Saturday: 9 A.M. - 6 P.M.
To view the questionnaire, click HERE
When instructed to self-quarantine, members should:
Remain quarantined for 14 days.
Remain at place of local residence, while minimizing close contact (within 6 feet and for longer than 10 minutes) with others.
Self-monitor by taking temperature readings twice a day to check for fever, and remain alert for other symptoms like coughing, chest congestion or shortness of breath.
Coordinate with their leadership to access resources from the Base Exchange, Commissary or any other establishment needed. In order to limit possibilities of transmission, quarantined personnel are to refrain from visiting such establishments. Leadership is responsible for keeping their quarantined Airmen stocked with food.
If any symptoms develop, such as fever cough or shortness of breath, immediately contact their supervisor and the 47th Medical Group, 830-298-6333
A wide range of professionals on and off Laughlin AFB are working hard to ensure the spread of COVID-19 is contained and the Air Force is able to maintain an operational fighting force. These actions are necessary to safeguard the health of your fellow Airmen and ensure the safety of the community.
Q: Are there any positive tests for Coronavirus at Laughlin? In Del Rio?
A: Currently there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Val Verde County. Our first priority is to keep it that way by increasing our Health Protection Level to level Bravo: which encourages social distancing, increased hand-washing and strict hygiene (no handshaking, wiping common-use items).
Q: How do we know if there aren’t any cases If people aren’t being tested?
A: Currently, there are capabilities of testing at VVRMC. Of the 12 tests that have been completed, so far two have been cleared to be negative and 10 pending. In order to be tested, you must be symptomatic (Fever, Cough, or Physical Aches), or have travelled outside of the United States. If you think you may be sick, please call your primary care physician before going to available medical facilities.
Q: Why do you have to wait to be tested if you have no symptoms?
A: On base, our medical professionals are limited by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance. If you or someone you know develops symptoms, the first thing to do is to go home and self-quarantine for 14 days and call the nurse advice line, 1-800 TRICARE.
Q: What are we doing to mitigate risks across the base?
A: Across the base, we have already eliminated many in-person meetings, implemented teleconferencing and teleworking programs for both military and civilians where applicable, and reduced the number of individuals in any given location to align with the President’s guidance of 10 people or less in any one room.
Q: Am I allowed to travel off base? How Far?
A: Servicemembers and their dependents are currently restricted to travel within the local area. The local area defined at LAFB is Eagle Pass, Comstock, and Uvalde.
Q: If me or my dependents have a medical appointment outside the travel restrictions, are we allowed to go?
A: First, notify your supervisor of any upcoming, medically necessary, appointments outside of the area of travel. Contact your medical provider to confirm the status your appointment, and if deemed medically necessary, you may travel. Upon returning to Laughlin, travelers are required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Q: If I have a cold, should I stay at home?
A: Yes. If you are sick, please stay at home. For a large percentage of the population who contract COVID-19, they only show cold-like symptoms. As a measure of precaution, we are recommending that even with minor symptoms you remain at home
Q: Is the commissary well stocked? Are they going to run out of supplies?
A: Once the stores close, our vender stockers and commissary employees come on to restock the stores. There is no need to “panic shop” as the supply chain is stable.
Q: Are visitors still allowed to visit the base?
A: Yes. However, if the safety of the base population becomes at risk, this may change. Please reach out to potential visitors and guests you may have to re-consider plans.
Q: What is the current status of PCS?
A: The Deputy Secretary of Defense (DepSecDef) has taken proactive measures to restrict travel. These restrictions are necessary to “preserve force readiness, limit the continuing spread of the virus, and preserve the health and welfare of service members, DoD civilian employees, their families, and the local communities in which we live.” on March 13th, the DepSecDef announced a stop movement for all government travel for service members, DoD civilians and families. This includes all forms of travel including permanent change of station, temporary duty and leave.
Q: The stop movement has created a hardship for me and my family. Are there any exceptions?
A: A travel exception may be granted for compelling cases where the travel is determined to be mission-essential, necessary for humanitarian reasons, or warranted due to extreme hardship. If you feel like your situation warrants an exemption, please get in contact with your chain-of-command.
Laughlin MDG – please note all information is subject to change and current as of 19 March 2020
Q: I have prescriptions to pick up. Do I pick those up at the 47th Clinic?
A: Yes, the Pharmacy is still open for members to pick up prescriptions.
Q: Is there a way an active duty member can accompany a dependent for a mandatory medical appointment in San Antonio?
A: If a non-medical attendant (NMA) is needed, the NMA can be an active duty member on a case by case basis. Please contact your Squadron Commander to route this request up your Chain of Command.
Q: If COVID-19 is airborne, why are the particles suspended in the air not being accounted for?
A: Currently the virus is COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through respiratory droplets (i.e. sneeze or cough from infected person), which can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. However it travels only about 6 feet and then is no longer airborne.
Q: How many hours can they can be suspended in the air?
A: We don’t know for sure how long the virus can remain suspended in air however one study indicates it can stay in aerosols for up to 2.64 hours.
Q: Why are N95 masks not used if airborne precautions are needed?
A: We are currently using N95 masks if there is a concern for a possible exposure to COVID-19. At the Pharmacy point of entry, the medical staff screening people prior to entry are wearing N95 masks.
Q: If asymptomatic patients may be able to transmit, what precautions are being implemented?
A: Due to the potential for asymptomatic people to transmit this disease, we recommend maintaining a safe distance/social distancing (staying over 6 feet away from everyone), washing your hands after touching any animate or inanimate objects, regular use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and do not touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
Q: Why are Quarantines being done for 14 days when they can still transmit and present symptoms later on and give a false negative?
A: The recommended quarantine is currently 14 days, per the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), most infections will be symptomatic within that time. Quarantine means separating a person or group of people who have been exposed to a contagious disease but have not developed illness (symptoms) from others who have not been exposed, in order to prevent the possible spread of that disease. Quarantine is usually established for the incubation period of the communicable disease, which is the span of time during which people have developed illness after exposure.
For COVID-19, the period of quarantine is 14 days from the last date of exposure, because 14 days is the longest incubation period seen for similar coronaviruses. Someone who has been released from COVID-19 quarantine is not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others because they did not develop illness during the incubation period.
Q: What treatments protocols will be implemented for infected patients? CDC guidelines state no treatment or cure are available.
A: Most patients can treat their COVID-19 symptoms at home. Not all patients with COVID-19 will require supportive medical care. Please contact your healthcare provider if you think your symptoms are worsening while at home to determine if you need additional assessment.
Q: Are we able to fill prescriptions for 30-90 days if we only have a single refill left? Do I need to make another appointment?
A: If you have only one or no refills left for your prescription(s), contact the Appointment Line at 830-298-6333, Option 1 then Option 1 again to place a telephone consult (t-con) to your provider team regarding your medication(s).
Q: If there is a base shutdown, how can civilians get medication refills?
A: The base Pharmacy will remain open regardless of contingency; please proactively utilize the Refill Pharmacy system to prevent delays and increased wait time. In the event that the base Pharmacy has to close, the clinic can telephone your (non-narcotic) prescription to HEB, CVS, or Walmart in Del Rio.
Q: Will mosquitos transfer this virus?
A: No, currently there is no data to support transmission of the virus by mosquito
Q: If there is a base shutdown, how will pregnant women be taken care?
A: The base does not currently treat pregnant women on base. Referrals will be placed to off base/Del Rio for any patients needing OB care. For pregnancies with a positive test on or after 20 March 2020, only high risk pregnancies (as determined by a local OB/GYN) will be cleared to have their OB care in San Antonio.
Q: Do you have any recommendations or concerns for Home Health Nursing staff, as we visit patients in their environments and do not use the same isolation protocols as the hospital?
A: We are asking our Home Health Nursing staff to transition to virtual and phone only appointments at this time. For members who work for VVRMC or the community, please contact your leadership and employer for guidance.
Q: Could security forces, customer service or other members in contact with multiple people in the day be provided masks and gloves?
A: CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected. Maintaining the 6 foot social distancing is the best way to prevent spread and your exposure.
Q: Can we go to post-operation medical appointments in San Antonio?
A: Please contact your surgical clinic to determine if they still need to see you in person. Some post-op checks can be done over the phone and SAMC/BAMC are cancelling many routine appointments.
Q: Is there any risk for pregnant women at the moment?
A: We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result. Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.
Q: Why do we need to wait for people to have symptoms before testing? Some people work for the airlines and come back to Laughlin.
A: If someone has a known exposure and travel history, we can test those members per CDC guidelines. Guidance to test is currently based on individual risk factors, including comorbidities (known medical conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, or another immune-compromising condition). If someone would like to pay out of pocket for local lab testing, they can do so after discussion with their local physician/NP/PA and receiving a lab order. Current guidance from the Wing Commander recommends self-quarantine for 14 days for those members that arrive within 1 hour from Laughlin AFB. Please contact your Chain of Command for exceptions to this policy.
From the Department of Defense: Effective Mar. 13, 2020, all DoD uniformed personnel, civilian personnel and family members traveling to, from, or through Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travel Health Notices Level 3 (COVID-19) designated locations, will stop movement for the next 60 days. This includes all forms of official travel, including Permanent Change of Station, Temporary Duty, and government-funded leave. For DoD uniformed personnel, this also includes personal leave and other non-official travel. DoD travelers should carefully plan travel to ensure their scheduled flights do not transit through or originate in Level 3 designated locations. Authorized Departures are delayed until appropriate transportation and reception procedures are in place for their intended route of travel as prescribed in this memorandum. Effective Mar. 13, 2020, and for the 60 days thereafter, concurrent official travel for family members of DoD uniformed personnel and civilian personnel is denied to CDC Travel Health Notices Level 2 (COVID-19) designated locations.
To view the guidance, click here
To view FAQ about travel restrictions, click here
Effective 16 March 2020, military personnel are not authorized to take personal leave outside of the local area.
Effective 17 March 2020, the local travel area has been defined as the geographic arc around Del Rio from Comstock-Uvalde-Eagle Pass. Members needing to travel outside of this area except for medical reasons should consult their leadership.
To view the Off-Limits areas for 47 FTW personnel, click here
To view the Gathering Limitations for 47 FTW personnel, click here
To view the Return to Local Area Policy, click here
To view the COVID-19 flow chart, click here
All civilian employees and dependents are encouraged to follow this guidance.
Military Personnel Flight - Appointment only
Auto Craft Center - Open under normal operating hours
Fitness Center - Classes/PFA/24-Hour Access is canceled
Bowling Center - carry-out only, no bowling, reservations & events are canceled
Child Development Center - Open under normal operating hours
Southwinds Marina - Open under normal operating hours
Youth Center - Open under normal operating hours
Civilian Personnel: Open with limited services
Commissary - Open under normal operating hours
Education Center - WAPS testing only
The Fit Bar - Closed
BX - Open under normal operating hours
Frame Shop - Open under normal operating hours
Laughlin Medical Clinic - Open normal operating hours
Golf Course - Bogey's closed, no food
Library - Events canceled
Silver Wings - Closed
Outdoor Recreation - Trips canceled, rentals only
Stripes - carry-out only
Facility hours and services are subject to change. Call ahead for the most current information. Access facility phone numbers on the directory page of www.laughlinfss.com
Nurse advice line:
Val Verde Regional Medical Center
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Texas Department of State Health Services
For DoD travel restrictions and COVID-19 guidance:
For information from the World Health Organization:
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19):
What the U.S. Government is Doing:
Force Health Protection Guidance: