Current as of Sept. 15, 2021
Below are some of the questions you might have about the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
Yes. Masks are required regardless of vaccination status while on the Pentagon Reservation, which includes the Pentagon, the Mark Center Campus and the Raven Rock Mountain Complex.
You may be required to lower your mask for identification or security purposes.
Organizations on the Pentagon Reservation must post signs and information on their websites explaining the mask requirement. The Department of Defense may provide masks for those who do not have one.
The Department of Defense requires those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask in common areas, shared workspaces and outdoor shared spaces on an installation. Masks are also required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation; and in airports and bus and train stations. If fully vaccinated, follow the Centers for Disease Control guidance for when you have been fully vaccinated.
Limited testing of asymptomatic service members is taking place. Specifically, 10% of those who live in congregate settings, 10% of those who work in health care and 1% of others will be tested. Service members preparing to deploy and those starting training will be tested as well. Additionally, asymptomatic service members involved in critical national capabilities will be tested, followed by engaged fielded forces, then forward deployed and redeployed forces as testing capacity increases.
For more information, see the memorandum, Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 11) – Department of Defense Guidance for Coronavirus Disease 2019 Surveillance and Screening with Testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidance on protecting yourself and others. It offers advice on everything from hand washing to house cleaning and avoiding contact if you must leave the house.
Speak with your supervisor if you or a family member becomes sick and you run out of sick leave. You may receive an advance of up to 30 days of sick leave for yourself, and up to 13 days of sick leave to care for a family member who is ill.
Learn more in the memorandum, Military Personnel Guidance for Department of Defense Components in Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019.
The CDC recommends wearing a non-medical disposable mask or mask made with breathable or tightly-woven fabric. Masks should have two or three layers and include an inner pocket for a filter. Masks should completely cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly against the side of the face. Choose masks with a nose wire, which prevents air from leaking out of the top of the mask. See CDC guidance for those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Regardless of vaccination status, masks are required while indoors on installations in areas of high community COVID-19 transmission. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask on all installations and other DOD facilities regardless of the level of community transmission.
Masks must be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status in areas of high community transmission of COVID-19. Those who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks while on installations and other DOD facilities regardless of the level of community transmission. Exceptions to mask wearing are:
You may be required to lower your mask for identification or security purposes.
You can find the level of transmission of COVID-19 in your area through the Centers for Disease Control data tracker. The CDC also offers guidance and definitions of low, moderate, substantial and high spread.
You must wear a mask indoors on military installations and other Department of Defense facilities in areas of high community transmission regardless of your vaccination status. You can find the level of transmission in your area through the Centers for Disease Control data tracker. The CDC also offers guidance and definitions of low, moderate, substantial and high spread.
Anyone not fully vaccinated must continue to wear masks and social distance on installations and other DOD facilities regardless of the level of community transmission.
Everyone, regardless of vaccination status or level of community transmission, is required to wear a mask in airports, bus and train stations and on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation.
The Department of Defense and other governmental agencies issue regular updates about traveling during COVID-19. Get the latest about travel restrictions at the installation level at the DOD’s COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update. Look up state regulations at the Centers for Disease Control’s health department website, which links to state health departments nationwide. For information about COVID-19 restrictions in other countries, visit the Department of State’s COVID-19 Specific Information page.
You may travel outside your local area with authorization from your unit commander or equivalent.
Refer to the article “Obtaining and Renewing Military ID and Common Access Cards During COVID-19” on Military OneSource. In addition, the Department of Defense provides a wealth of information at CAC.mil/coronavirus.
If impacted by COVID-19, there are several things you can do to make sure you continue to receive your medication.
Review the “Making the Most of Your TRICARE Pharmacy Benefits” webinar and get an overview of benefits, drug categories and costs, options and even a COVID-19 update.
Service members and families who have been affected financially as a result of travel restrictions, closures and other events from COVID-19 can check with their service relief organization to see if emergency help is available.
Review the information in the article Learn the Warning Signs of ‘Military Scams’ to protect yourself and your family. Remember, there are always people looking to take advantage of a crisis to harm others — be vigilant.
Military OneSource has many resources to help you boost your emotional wellness during stressful times. For starters:
While Military OneSource does not provide health care services, it provides resources that can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. This page provides access to self-care mobile apps developed within the Department of Defense, Veteran Affairs and other partners. All the apps are free.
Ask for help if you or your family need it; Military OneSource confidential, non-medical counselors are here for you. If you or a family member are having suicidal thoughts, call the Military Crisis line at 800-273-8255, press 1; text to 838255; or start a confidential chat.
Safeguarding your mental health and well-being is just as important as using the right tools for the job. You can’t function well without them. Practice self-care with these three steps:
This research-based broaden and build theory can help your mind and body shift from the fight-or-flight response to a problem-solving mode. The theory states that positive emotions help to calm us so we can think more clearly and creatively.
Request adaptive equipment for your home office from the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program if you have limitations, such as vision loss, hearing loss, memory loss or a physical condition, like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. In many instances, equipment can ship directly to your home and keep you working efficiently and safely.
Social distancing and self-quarantine may not be safe for everyone – especially for individuals in unhealthy or abusive relationships. If you are seeking support for domestic abuse but unsure about next steps, contact your installation’s Family Advocacy Program victim advocate, who can help you identify options for safety even while isolated at home. You can also chat online or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 24/7. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call 911 or your installation law enforcement. To learn more, see the article When Home Isn’t Safe: Tips for Victims of Domestic Abuse.
It’s important to talk to children about COVID-19, because even if they aren’t saying anything, they may have questions and concerns they don’t know how to put into words. Go to DoD Education Activity’s COVID-19 page to see their tips (in the PDF at the bottom of the page) for “How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus” in an age-appropriate manner.
Just because your children are stuck at home doesn’t mean their educational needs have to be interrupted. Find what you need in this article, Take Advantage of Online Learning Resources While Schools Are Closed.
MilParents can tap into these online parenting resources:
There are a variety of small things that can add up to keeping everyone engaged, including:
The Centers for Disease Control’s most updated guidance is that “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”
Everyone deals with the stress of the pandemic and reentering the world after vaccination in different ways. Some people feel stressed and others feel relief. Here are a few things you can do to help family members ease back into activities once they’re vaccinated:
Yes. The Department of Defense has safety measures in place. These include requiring customers and movers to wear face coverings and take other precautions. Your moving company will verify in writing that the movers coming to your home have been screened for illness. Learn more about the DOD’s commitment to protecting your health and safety during moves.
Yes. All service members deploying outside the United States or redeploying will be screened for COVID-19 and tested, if available and appropriate. Service members must undergo a mandatory 14-day restriction of movement before deploying. Redeploying service members may undergo a 14-day ROM if warranted by a risk-based determination. See Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 9) – Department of Defense Guidance for Deployment and Redeployment of Individuals and Units during the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic for details.
Stay up to date on all the latest information on COVID-19. For updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19, view the following sites: