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Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Weekly Update: DHS Response to COVID-19

Release Date: June 29, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security and its dedicated workforce across more than a dozen offices and components have been working diligently with the White House to execute an unprecedented, whole-of America response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter a new phase to reopen the American Economy, DHS is taking decisive actions to accelerate our national economic recovery to ensure that the job market remains open, viable, and accessible for U.S. citizens.

"Since early in the pandemic, under the leadership of President Trump, DHS took aggressive and proactive measures allowing the U.S. to stay ahead of the outbreak." said Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. "As we reopen our economy, President Trump is leading the comeback to revitalize our economy and create opportunity for all Americans. DHS remains committed to ensuring Americans are able to regain their jobs and livelihoods - economic security is critical to homeland security."

Below is a list of some of DHS's efforts against COVID-19 last week:

Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD)

Enhanced Screenings at Airports. CWMD contract personnel are continuing to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with enhanced screenings for travelers through 15 specially designated airports. As of June 27, CWMD has processed more than 381,690 travelers for enhanced screening, including 1,543 who were referred to CDC for further medical evaluation.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Delivering Cloth Facial Coverings to Keep Critical Infrastructure Workers Safe. As of June 27th, FEMA, HHS and the Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA) along with other federal agencies have processed and distributed over 346 million cloth face coverings for critical infrastructure workers. Many of our infrastructure sectors must have access to facial coverings in order to protect their workers and to ensure critical services continue throughout our communities. The federal delivery of facial coverings is being made in a phased approach for infrastructure workers, first responders, and food producers who do not need medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for their daily work.

Expediting Movement of Critical Personal Protective Equipment. FEMA continues to expedite the movement of commercially pre-sourced and commercially procured critical supplies from the global market to medical distributors in various locations across the U.S. As of June 28, Project Airbridge has completed 245 flights with an additional 4 scheduled, or in transit, for a total of approximately 249 flights. Since April 12, 53 non-Airbridge flights carrying over 69.8 million FEMA-procured masks and respirators from 3M have landed in the U.S. Additionally, 95 non-Airbridge flights carrying over 16.2 million gowns from Hanes have landed in the U.S. for distribution across the country.

Supporting Administration's COVID-19 Testing Strategy. To support the Administration's Testing Blueprint, FEMA continues to source and procure testing material – specifically, testing swabs and transport media. As of June 26th, FEMA has procured and delivered 29.4 million swabs and 20.5 million units of media. The FEMA-sourced material will be provided to states, territories, and tribes for a limited duration to help increase testing capacity in support of their individualized plans.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC)

Training Resumes At All Facilities. On June 22nd, FLETC resumed training operations at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers in Charleston, South Carolina. All FLETC facilities have now resumed training in a safe and secure environment.

Office of Operations Coordination (OPS)

Ensuring Situational Awareness. The Department's Crisis Action Team (CAT) and National Operations Center continue to work 24/7 on Departmental COVID-19 response. This work includes managing information, situational awareness, and reporting to the interagency and senior officials. OPS supports the Department's efforts to share information internally and externally during the pandemic. Between June 21st and 27th the CAT produced more than twenty COVID-19 related reports covering Departmental and international actions and impacts on the DHS workforce.

Science and Technology (S&T)

Driving Evidence-Based Policymaking. On June 24th, Science and Technology updated its Master Question List (MQL), a compilation of available research on operationally relevant questions to aid decision makers in the COVID-19 response. The MQL is a quick-reference guide covering what is known about the virus, what additional information is needed, and who may be working to address these fundamental questions. New entries include references of work that show beginning efforts of contract tracing in Japan have linked exposures to clusters associated with social gathering activities involving close contact, i.e. bars, music festivals, restaurants, etc. Additionally, completed serological surveys in New York indicate that through the end of March an estimated 14 percent of adult population were exposed to COVID-19. To date, access of MQL has exceeded 45,000 views.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Keeping Americans Safe While Ensuring Continuity of U.S. Travel and Commerce. Between June 21st and June 27th, TSA screened more than 3,967,161 passengers, who have all reached their destinations safely. TSA officers are required to wear facial protection while on duty at the checkpoint and the agency continues to follow CDC guidance to protect Americans, its workers, and the nation's transportation system, in support of air travel and all other modes of transportation.

Ready to Ensure Safety During the Summer Travel Period. Between 21st and June 27th, TSA Administrator Pekoske released his Administrator's Intent 2.0 which acknowledges the agency's agility and adaptability necessary in the ongoing response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. TSA continues to implement changes across airport screening checkpoints nationwide in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the public safe.

United States Coast Guard (USCG)

Monitoring Vessels that Pose a Risk to Public Health. As of June 26, 2020, the USCG is tracking 6 cruise ships moored, at anchor, or underway in vicinity of a U.S. port, or with potential to arrive in a US port, with 18,882 crewmembers. This includes an estimated 239 American Citizens crewmembers dispersed among 37 vessels. The Coast Guard is working with the CDC based on its extension of the No Sail Order for cruise ships, which permits the off-loading of crewmembers following submission of a plan to the CDC.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Keeping the Public Safe from COVID-19-related Fraud. ICE's Operation Stolen Promise (OSP) targets fraudulent activity stemming from the pandemic. The initiative combines ICE's Homeland Security Investigation's (HSI) expertise in global trade investigations, financial fraud, and cyber investigations with robust private and public partnerships to disrupt and dismantle this criminal activity and strengthen global supply-chain security. As of June 26th, as part of OSP, the agency has made 29 criminal arrests, analyzed 44,583 COVID-19-related domains, seized more than $5,233,128 million in illicit proceeds, disrupted 40 instances of illicit activity, sent 1,106 leads to domestic and international field offices, executed 56 search warrants and made 799 COVID-19-related seizures to include prohibited test kits and pharmaceuticals, counterfeit masks and more.COVID-19-related seizures to include prohibited test kits and pharmaceuticals, counterfeit masks and more.

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

Securing Our Borders to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. CBP's ongoing construction of the border wall system has helped shaped the behavior of illegal border crossers and smugglers during the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 25th, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) completed the construction of 220 miles of new border wall system, in place of dilapidated or outdated designs and in places where no barriers previously existed, in high priority locations across the Southwest border.

Getting American Citizens Home Safe. As of June 23rd, CBP had referred 372,569 travelers at the 15 funneling airports to CWMD for enhanced health screening.

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