- Military Basics
- Transitioning & Retiring
- Casualty Assistance
- Moving & PCS
- Housing & Living
- Recreation, Travel & Shopping
- Special Needs
- Health & Wellness
- Safety From Violence & Abuse
- Financial & Legal
- Education & Employment
- National Guard
- Benefits & Resources
- I am a…
- Confidential Help
24/7/365 Access to Support
No matter where you serve or live, free and confidential help is available.
- In Crisis?
In the United States, call 911 if you are in an emergency.
For those outside the United States, call your local emergency number.
Contact Military OneSource
Information and support for service members and their families. About the Call Center.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 Questions and Answers
Current as of Jan. 3, 2022
Below are some of the questions you might have about the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.How can I stay safe against the Delta variant and other variants of COVID-19?
If you have received a vaccination against COVID-19, you will have protection from the Delta variant. Breakthrough infections can happen, but they are rare and hospitalizations among the fully vaccinated are rarer still. However, even fully vaccinated people can spread the virus to others. The Centers for Disease Control recommends vaccinated people wear a mask indoors in areas of substantial or high transmission. Unvaccinated people should take precautions such as wearing a mask indoors in public, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, staying six feet from others and washing your hands often.
Find the most current information on the Delta variant and other variants on the CDC’s COVID-19 page.Are masks required on the Pentagon Reservation?
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.
- When alone in an office with floor-to-ceiling walls and a closed door
- For brief periods of time while eating and drinking, provided you maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others and are in accordance with instructions from commanders and supervisors
- When necessary to reasonably accommodate a disability
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.If I am not fully vaccinated, when and where do I need to wear a mask?
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.Will service members who don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 be tested for the disease?
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.Where can I get information about COVID-19 testing?What are some ways to keep public areas clean as people start doing more things outside the home?What if I or one of my family members becomes sick and I am out of sick leave?
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.What kind of masks does the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing?
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.When do I need to wear a mask while I’m on an installation?
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.When do I need to social distance while on an installation?
You will need to practice social distancing whenever you are with others outside your immediate household, both indoors and outdoors.Are there exceptions to mask wearing while on an installation?
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:
- While alone in an office with floor-to-ceiling walls and a closed door
- For brief periods of time while eating and drinking, provided you maintain at least 6 feet of distance to others and are in accordance with instructions from commanders and supervisors
- When necessary to accommodate a disability
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.Can I stop wearing a mask if I am fully vaccinated?
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.Where can I find travel-related coronavirus information?
Visit Defense Travel Management Office’s Travel-Related Coronavirus Information for tools, resources and links to information about travel during the pandemic, including transportation allowances, country-specific travel and government agency travel policies and advisories. You can also learn about travel industry safety policies and cancellation procedures.Where can I find information to help me make good decisions about traveling during COVID-19?
Governmental agencies issue regular updates about traveling during COVID-19. 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.I am scheduled to go on leave. Will the travel restrictions affect me?
You may travel outside your local area with authorization from your unit commander or equivalent.Where can I find information about Basic Allowance for Housing rates?Where can I turn for assistance in the event of a financial hardship caused by COVID-19?
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.What tips and apps are available to help maintain emotional wellness during challenging times such as COVID-19?
Military OneSource has many resources to help you boost your emotional wellness during stressful times. For starters:
What if I or someone I know needs non-medical counseling?
- Review these pandemic-related tips and resources for all members of the military community.
- Learn more about self-care and how to practice it daily.
- Start working with a health and wellness coach by phone, video or online chat. They can help you learn to manage your weight, stress, nutrition and fitness and meet other goals or challenges.
- Get 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 988, press 1; text to 838255; or start a confidential chat.I work remotely. Where can I find special equipment to use in my home office if I have physical or other limitations?
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.What if I am feeling threatened by a spouse or partner?
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.How can I talk to my children about COVID-19?
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. Help them feel safe by talking about the vaccines that protect against the virus. Remind them to wear their masks in school, even if they are over 12 and vaccinated, as the Centers for Disease Control recommends. 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.Where can I find learning resources for my kids while they are home from school?
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.What are some tips for working from home during the outbreak?How can military families with children with special needs find out about the educational resources available to them during the COVID-19 pandemic?What are good, comprehensive parenting resources for times when my children are home from school or day care because of quarantine or other reasons during COVID-19?
MilParents can tap into these online parenting resources:
Thrive is a free online parenting program developed by the Department of Defense with Penn State University. It provides research-based best parenting practices for raising healthy, resilient children from birth to age 18.
ZERO TO THREE is designed to support parents in order to ensure that all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. ZERO TO THREE’s Babies on the Homefront app provides ideas for military and veteran parents to stay connected, no matter where their work takes them.
Sesame Street for Military Families offers a variety of products designed for young military children. Their website offers videos on topics like deployment, homecoming, relocation, self-expression and more.What are schools doing to help protect students during COVID-19?Where can parents find good resources for virtual learning and general wellness as the COVID-19 pandemic continues?What are some ways to help my vaccinated family members stay safe from infection while they are out in the world?
To reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control’s most updated guidance for fully-vaccinated people is to wear a mask indoors in public when in an area of substantial or high transmission.
Here are a few ways to stay safe while enjoying activities:
Are there resources available to help my child with school transitions due to COVID-19?Does the DOD have new deployment and redeployment requirements during COVID-19?
- Step outside today. Take a long walk, ride a bike or just enjoy sitting outside with friends. Outdoor activities may provide a sense of safety.
- Shop the windows. Walk downtown or at the local mall and window-shop until you’re ready to step inside. You’ll save some cash and get some exercise — a win-win!
- Keep it small. Invite a few vaccinated friends or family members over for dinner. Enjoy socializing. Accept invitations to your friend’s or family’s homes.
- Talk with someone. Contact a Military OneSource non-medical counselor who will listen to your concerns and offer effective strategies to help reduce your stress. Your mental health matters!
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.How can I find pandemic-related updates for my installation?
Stay current on all the updates by:
- Searching directly for your installation’s official website.
- Visiting MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and searching for your installation website.
- Enter the name of your installation or select “View All Installations” and search that way.
- Once you have located your installation, select the link to the website.
- From there, locate the link for coronavirus information, which may be listed under the heading COVID-19.
- Following your installation’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram platforms.
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: