FORT HOOD, Texas — The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Respiratory Drive-Thru screening process will start at 7 a.m. Thursday and will be available from 7 a.m - 11 p.m. daily.

According to the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center Facebook Page, the screening process will help identify people with respiratory illness symptoms before they enter the hospital. This will reduce the health risk to beneficiaries, visitors, staff and family members.

The screening area was designed to help beneficiaries and personnel who have symptoms and fit the criteria for further evaluation of respiratory illness by a medical professional.

If you do not meet any of the criteria listed above, you do not need to enter the screening area and may go straight to your appointment or duty location. 

The 1st Medical Brigade also begun deploying personnel to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local officials with the medical support that is needed to assist in the fight against COVID-19, according to a press release from Fort Hood.

More than 25 medical personnel from the 9th Hospital Center deployed today to Fort Dix, near New York City, and will be followed by over 275 in the upcoming days.  Also, the 627th HC, out of Fort Carson, Colo., deployed over 30 of the near 300 Soldiers they’ll be deploying to Joint Base Lewis- McChord near Seattle, Wash, Fort Hood said.

“As the United States military’s oldest and largest medical brigade, we stand ready to support the people of the United States in their time of need,” Col. Robert Howe, the 1st MED Commander explained in the release.  “Our Soldiers are eager to provide medical service and support to our fellow citizens and alleviate some of the burden on our tremendous civilian healthcare system.”

Thees Hospital Centers feature medical capabilities as a self-sustaining hospital that remains ready to deploy anywhere in the world.

“We stand ready to deploy wherever our country needs us,” Howe added.

The 1st MED Brigade headquarters has been assigned to support the Joint Task Force – Civil Support’s COVID-19 response efforts and will be leading medical planning operations from Fort Hood.

The Army is working with interagency partners, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense Military Health System and others to support and protect our military force and the American people.

Fort Hood officials also conducted a tabletop exercise Thursday to test the plans, policies and procedures in battling the virus.

“Nobody wants to go to football practice during halftime,” Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt, III Corps and Fort Hood deputy commanding general said to those assembled inside the Fort Hood Garrison Emergency Operation Center at the start of the exercise. “But, in this case, there is no halftime. It’s game on.”

Post officials decided to conduct the exercise even as more measures are being taken to limit exposure. Fort Hood also announced the closure of all of its on-post gymnasiums Thursday.

Physical training will continue to be conducted, however, but only at the squad level with ten or fewer Soldiers participating. This will only take place outdoors.

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