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Deployment and Redeployment Requirements During COVID-19

Current as of April 13, 2021


Testing and Surveillance for COVID-19

Learn about the DOD’s expanded testing for coronavirus disease 2019 and other measures to detect the disease early and stop its spread.

 

As the COVID-19 world situation slowly improves, the Department of Defense has changed its approach to travel restrictions. Until further notice, it will base travel decisions on conditions in specific areas.

As deployment and redeployment resume, the DOD is committed to:

  • Defeating this virus
  • Defending the Force from its impact
  • Protecting our Nation and its citizens

To minimize risks and ensure force health, the DOD is now requiring predeployment and redeployment COVID-19 screening. Restriction of movement occurs as indicated.

These requirements are for:

  • Service members including Reserve Component and National Guard members in a Title 10 or Title 32 duty status
  • DOD civilian employees deploying within and outside the United States
  • Contractor personnel (must complete the same predeployment screening and restriction of movement to travel with military and civilian mitigated forces)

Deployment requirements

All deploying service members and DOD civilian employees will complete Force Health Protection predeployment requirements in accordance with DODI 6490.03. This includes screening for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms and testing if available, appropriate and consistent with DOD testing guidance. For further details, see Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 9).

DOD component heads will ensure that those who deploy receive appropriate screening at the assigned place of duty or point of embarkation. At a minimum, it will include assessing:

  • Whether the individual has exhibited any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within the previous 14 days
  • Whether the individual has had contact with anyone having or known to have exhibited signs or symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, rigors, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new smell and taste disorders, coughing or shortness of breath), or who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days
  • Whether the individual has traveled to a country, state, territory or county with high or increasing COVID-19 transmission within the previous 14 days
  • Whether the individual is at increased risk of severe illness of COVID-19
  • Whether the individual is familiar with how to self-monitor and what actions to take if he or she develops COVID-19 symptoms or contracts COVID-19

A DOD health care provider must be available for consultation, if unable to directly administer the screening. Anyone with a fever or giving affirmative responses to screening questions will receive evaluation by a health care provider. It will include diagnostic testing if indicated.

DOD component guidance ensures that symptomatic personnel consult with a health care provider for further assessment and/or testing. Individuals who meet the clinical case definition of a “probable” infection (absent a diagnostic test result) or who are confirmed COVID-19 positive during screening should isolate according to guidance below.

All service members deploying outside the United States, whether to a COVID-19 area or not, will undergo a mandatory 14-day restriction of movement, or ROM, prior to deployment. DOD strongly recommends deploying DOD civilian employees and DOD contractor personnel do the same. During ROM, the DOD requires that all personnel:

  • Restrict movement to residence or other appropriate domicile.
  • Limit close contact with anyone they didn’t travel with and adhere to strict wearing of face covering and frequent hand washing. Avoid crowds, use of public transportation and close interaction with pets.
    • Adhere to these guidelines for 14 days even if ROM period is less than 14 days.
  • Consider ROM location as official duty location.
  • Self-monitor for fever, cough, difficulty breathing or other COVID symptoms.
    • If symptoms develop, self-isolate and seek advice via telephone with a healthcare provider. Return to work only at the direction of the healthcare provider.
  • Notify chain of command or supervisor if they or others in the household develop symptoms.
  • Telework when practical per direction of commander or supervisor

For deployments outside the United States, when the geographic combatant commanders and the host nation agree or arrange for ROM in country, a predeployment ROM is not a requirement.

If ROM takes place before deployment, travel to the deployed location should, as much as possible, minimize the risk of deploying personnel being exposed to or infected with COVID-19 during travel.

Geographic combatant commanders will inform military departments if they and the host nation have agreed or arranged for ROM in country upon arrival in the host nation. Every effort will be made to avoid completing a second ROM upon arrival in host nations.

DOD component heads may request that the secretary of defense waive this requirement if mission requirements dictate an expedited deployment.

Redeployment requirements

All redeploying service members and DOD civilian employees will complete FHP redeployment requirements in accordance with DODI 6490.03. This includes screening for COVID-19 exposure and symptoms  and testing if available and appropriate. This is consistent with guidance in the memo “DOD COVID-19 Task Force Laboratory Testing Line of Effort,” April 24, 2020.

All redeploying service members and DOD civilian employees will complete a Post-Deployment Health Assessment (DD Form 2796) and Post-Deployment Health Reassessment (DD Form 2900) in accordance with DODI 6490.03, “Deployment Health.” The requirement applies to all service members, including Active Component and Reserve Component personnel on applicable Title 10 or Title 32 orders.

DOD component heads will ensure that those who deploy receive appropriate screening at the assigned place of duty or point of embarkation. At a minimum, it will include assessing:

  • Whether the individual has exhibited any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 within the previous 14 days
  • Whether the individual has had contact with anyone having or known to have exhibited signs or symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, rigors, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new smell and taste disorders, coughing or shortness of breath), or who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the previous 14 days
  • Whether the individual has traveled to a country, state, territory or county with high or increasing COVID-19 transmission within the previous 14 days
  • Whether the individual is at increased risk of severe illness of COVID-19
  • Whether the individual is familiar with how to self-monitor and what actions to take if he or she develops COVID-19 symptoms or contracts COVID-19

A DOD health care provider must be available for consultation, if unable to directly administer the screening. An evaluation by a health care provider, including COVID-19 diagnostic testing if indicated, will be conducted for individuals with a fever or who give any affirmative responses to screening questions.

DOD component guidance will ensure that symptomatic individuals consult with a health care provider for further assessment and/or testing. Individuals who meet the clinical case definition of a “probable” infection (absent a diagnostic test result) or who are confirmed COVID-19 positive during screening should isolate according to guidance below.

All service members redeploying, whether from a COVID-19 operational area or not, will undergo a risk-based screening to determine if a 14-day ROM is indicated. If it is, a 14-day ROM will be performed at a location determined by component. ROM locations may include home station, the service member’s residence or other suitable location. For RC members, the ROM will be performed while the service member remains on duty and prior to the service member’s demobilization. DOD strongly recommends redeploying DOD civilian employees and DOD contractor personnel be assessed as well to determine if a voluntary ROM is indicated.

The DOD will apply CDC guidance in making the risk-based determination for the 14-day ROM.

During ROM, the DOD requires that all personnel:

  • Restrict movement to residence or other appropriate domicile.
  • Limit close contact with anyone they didn’t travel with and adhere to strict wearing of face covering and frequent hand washing. Avoid crowds, use of public transportation and close interaction with pets.
    • Adhere to these guidelines for 14 days even if ROM period is less than 14 days.
  • Consider ROM location as official duty location.
  • Self-monitor for fever, cough, difficulty breathing or other COVID symptoms.
    • If symptoms develop, self-isolate and seek advice via telephone with a healthcare provider. Return to work only at the direction of the healthcare provider.
  • Notify chain of command or supervisor if they or others in the household develop symptoms.
  • Telework when practical per direction of commander or supervisor

DOD mission-essential personnel and those in critical operational or infrastructure positions who have redeployed to home station may be permitted to continue work after potential exposure to the virus. They will have to remain asymptomatic, wear a face covering, practice social distancing and have an exception to continue work in accordance with Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 8).

The ROM location for Dynamic Force Employment organizations and individuals will be a case-by-case determination coordinated with the losing and gaining organizations and published in the corresponding Secretary of Defense Orders Book.

Isolation guidance for potential cases

DOD component heads will consider the most recent CDC guidance for release of individuals from isolation and return to home or work. See guidance documents in FHP Guidance Supplement 9.

Additional redeployment guidelines for Military Service Reserve and National Guard personnel

The secretaries of the military departments may issue additional procedural guidance as appropriate for Reserve Component personnel.

For National Guard members supporting Federal Emergency Management Agency mission assignments, the Chief of the Nation Guard Bureau, in coordination with the secretaries of the Army and Air Force, will issue redeployment guidance to the states and territories to support mission requirements while minimizing risks to National Guard members.

Reserve Component personnel in support of other departments or agencies will complete any required health and ROM measures, including home-based quarantine or self-monitoring, prior to the end of the period of support to that other department or agency.

Understanding of COVID-19 continues to change, so continue to check our Coronavirus Updates for Our Military Community page for updates.

Want to find the phone number for your installation’s housing office or Military and Family Support Center? Find those and more on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. For updates and information specific to your location, visit your installation’s official website. You can also follow your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.

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