Department of Defense extends temporary housing support for coronavirus quarantine

Department of Defense extends temporary housing support for coronavirus quarantine
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The Department of Defense (DOD) on Saturday extended the availability of temporary housing facilities that it opened up for travelers who may require quarantine for exposure to the coronavirus after returning from China to the U.S. 

Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide temporary housing for quarantine at the beginning of February. The DOD has confirmed that it will continue providing housing facilities on select military bases through March 15.

The news comes amid reports of the U.S. evacuating 428 citizens on board the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

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Facilities and items such as linens and bedding will continue to be provided by the DOD, while HHS will remain responsible for the care and supervision of evacuees. 

The evacuees will be monitored for at least 14 days before they can leave quarantine, or will be transferred to nearby hospitals if medical conditions show definite signs of coronavirus infection.

Participating military bases include Travis Air Force Base and Marine Corps Air Station in California as well as Joint Base in San Antonio, Texas, and Fort Carson in Colorado.

Since the outbreak was first discovered in December, China has reported more than 65,000 people infected within the country, while more than 20 countries have also report cases of the disease. More than 1,500 deaths have occurred from the virus.