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Frequently Asked Base Operations & Services Questions

Base Operations & Services

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We are monitoring all of that. Those types of cases, like a breakout of a cluster of confirmed cases, will certainly be a decision point for us to determine what portion of the mission can shut down, or which group should be put into quarantine. As it stands right now, if anyone gets tested or believes they might be COVID-19 positive, protective measures are being taken.

No one will be turned away, but face mask wear will be 100% on Offutt AFB.

Yes, there will be set times for certain groups to utilize those facilities. The information has been finalized and disseminated.

Yes, the BX and Commissary are still open. Retirees and non-mission essential personnel may still access those facilities. However, this is subject to change. Please check the Offutt website for updates.

Yes, the fitness center is open for Active and DOD civilians from 0500 to 1900.

No, both CDCs are open and taking all children.

You can purchase supplies (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, etc.) and services in support of COVID-19 up to the micro-purchase threshold. Due to the President declaring the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency, the micro-purchase threshold has been increased from $10,000 to $20,000.

The DoD has paused all ceremonies until further notice. Promotions will still occur as scheduled.

Frequently Asked Medical Questions

Q01: Are there cases of Coronavirus, or COVID-19, at Offutt AFB?

A01: Yes, Offutt announced its first case of COVID-19 April 1. In accordance with DOD guidance, no further cases will be announced at the base level.

Q02: What is being done at Offutt to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

A02: We are taking proactive steps to encourage Team Offutt to follow CDC guidance to avoid contracting or spreading respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19. There are contingency plans in place and we have been taking steps to educate and safeguard our military and civilian personnel, family members and base communities in preventing a widespread outbreak.  We will continue to work with our interagency and local partners to strengthen global detection and response to COVID-19.

We have a strong coalition of partners at Offutt and in surrounding communities, and we’ve been working together for weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19. It’s important that everyone continues to remain vigilant with mask wear social distancing and sanitization efforts.

Q03: How can individuals play a role in limiting or preventing the spread of COVID-19?

A03: You should practice social distancing and wear a mask when in public as well as avoid large groups and ensure you are able to maintain 6 foot distance as much as possible. The goal is to limit the number of people you come into contact with. Some people with the virus may not display any symptoms. Even if you do not fall within the “significant risk” category, we strongly encourage:

  • More handwashing and less face touching;
  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then quickly discard the tissue and wash your hands;
  • Stay home when you are sick;
  • Stay away from sick people;
  • Practice social distancing as much as possible;
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces

If you believe you have symptoms, you are eligible for testing at the MTF drive through M-F 0800-1100. We recommend you stay home and report for testing on approximately day 3 of symptoms for a more reliable test. If you have any questions, you should contact the EBC or your medical provider in advance by phone. Please do not report directly to your unit, the medical clinic, finance, personnel or any other agency before being screened and cleared to do so.

Q04: Is handwashing really effective?

A04: The short answer is yes. Handwashing can help prevent illness. Taking 20 seconds to lather up, scrub your hands, rinse and dry is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs. Hand hygiene is so important to preventing the spread of disease. If we can limit the spread of influenza and COVID-19, we can limit the number of people who end up in our hospitals and emergency rooms.

Q05: What should I do if I think I've contracted Coronavirus?

A05: If you or someone you think you know might have the virus, do not report to the clinic. If you are in self-isolation or have traveled to areas of concern, call the 55th Medical Group Public Health Flight. TRICARE beneficiaries should call the Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273. Always call 9-1-1 if you are experiencing an emergency.

Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Fever greater than 100.4⁰F
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • A lot of these symptoms are very similar to seasonal allergies and flu.

Q06: Are there tests for COVID-19?

A06: We currently have tests for symptomatic patients and are working diligently to obtain more rapid reliable testing. We will be following current CDC guidelines for testing and are prioritizing patients with fever or signs of lower respiratory illness (cough or shortness of breath).

Social distancing is one of the most effective means of limiting and preventing the spread of COVID-19. There are about 6,000 hospitals in the United States and at any given time, 2/3s of the beds are full from patients involved in motor vehicle accidents, some who have had a heart attack and stroke, and other serious medical conditions. Social distancing will help lessen the spread of the virus so that our medical treatment facilities will have the capacity to care for those with the aforementioned health complications and severe cases of Coronavirus.

Q07: I'm 65 years old. Should I stay away from crowded places?

A07: We recommend that everyone stay away from crowded places. If your 65 years old or older and you’re immunocompromised, there is a greater risk that this disease can have a severe effect on your health. We also strongly recommend you get the vaccine as soon as possible.

If you’re under 65, we still recommend that you stay away from areas and events with large gatherings. The idea here is to prevent you from getting a mild form of the disease and spreading it to others, especially those in a high-risk category. We all have to do our part to keep ourselves safe and healthy, look out for the health and safety of others, and flatten the curve of the spread of Coronavirus.

Q08: What are Health Protection Condition (HPCON) levels?

A08: HPCONS were introduced in 2019 and are similar to Force Protection Conditions (FPCONs); FPCONs inform the populace about potential physical threats, while HPCONs inform about potential health threats. HPCON levels include:

  • HPCON “0” – Normal baseline; measures include standard precautions and prevention such as hand washing, hygiene, vaccinations, education, planning, etc.
  • HPCON A – Report of unusual health risk or disease; possible measures include communicating risk and symptoms, reviewing plans and preparation, and preparation to diagnose, isolate and report new cases
  • HPCON B – Outbreak or heightened exposure risk; possible measures include strict hygiene, self-isolation if exposed, vector control and careful cleaning of common-use items/areas.
  • HPCON C – High morbidity epidemic or contamination; possible measures include social distancing (limit meetings, socials and gatherings), and mass distribution of medical countermeasures if applicable.
  • HPCON D – High mortality epidemic or contamination; possible measures include restriction of movement (quarantine), evacuation and decontamination

As with FPCON levels, changes in HPCON levels are communicated through official command and control channels, with possible augmentation with public affairs channels. HPCON signs may be posted in key high traffic areas.

Specific information and actions will vary based on circumstances and will be communicated along with the overall HPCON level. Personnel should carefully follow all guidance and directives to ensure individual and community health and safety, as well as overall mission readiness.

Q09: What is Offutt’s current HPCON Level?

A09: The 55th Wing Commander implemented HPCON Charlie March 26, 2020.

The Secretary of the Air Force has directed that all Air Force installations implement Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie. This is in keeping with similar actions taken by our sister services. This puts all military installations in the same posture as we collectively work to meet the Secretary of Defense’s three priorities in fighting COVID-19:

  • Protect our people and their families
  • Ensure our ability to conduct essential missions in defense of the nation
  • Support the all-government effort against Coronavirus

Additionally, the commander declared a Public Health Emergency March 27 to ensure that all available measures and authorities are available. This also keeps activities and efforts in harmony with the surrounding communities, which have taken similar actions in recent days. We continue to stay linked with the ongoing efforts of the Health Department.

Q10: How can someone not have Coronavirus and still be quarantined or in self-isolation?

A10: This is the way a self-quarantine period works. The incubation period – the time you get the virus to the time you exhibit symptoms – is 2-14 days. If you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive or if you return from a high-risk area such as a Level 2 or 3 travel country, you should stay home for 14 days to self-monitor. If you don’t display any symptoms after and you do not have an illness, that days, that means you are not infected and you are not going to spread it to other people. That is why it is important that we ask people to stay home and follow guidelines.

Q11: I need to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy. Has anything changed?

A11: Yes, the satellite pharmacy has consolidated operations with the Ehrling Bergquist Clinic and prescriptions will need to be picked up using one of the drive-through lanes at the BX. This allows better use of medical personnel in response to COVID-19.

Q12: What if I have a dental exam or treatment scheduled, should I keep that appointment?

A12: Our dental clinic is following the ADA (American Dental Association) COVID-19 treatment guidelines. We are delaying routine dental cleanings, treatments such as fillings and crowns and focusing on Active Duty annual exams and treatment as well as dental pain. The dental front desk staff is reaching out to patients already scheduled for routine work to cancel their appointments and reschedule for a later date. Sick call appointments can still be made through the Central Appointment Line

Q13: What if I have a routine medical appointment coming up?

A13: Please consider delaying routine care or follow-up in the clinic if you feel this would be appropriate. This will allow us to save appointments for those needing more urgent care.

Q14: What should i do if I have an emergency or urgent care need?

A14: If you have a medical emergency, please dial 911 on base or proceed to the nearest emergency room. If you feel you must be seen in the clinic within the next 24-72 hours, please call the Central Appointment Line. Alternatively, the Nurse Advice Line is also available to you 24/7.

Q15: I'm on a Restriction of Movement (ROM) status. What should I do?

A15: If you have mild cold or flu-like symptoms and feel comfortable providing self-care at home, please continue to do so.  If you need medical assistance, please call the Nurses Advice Line or the Care Line and we will have a nurse speak with you or create a t-con for you.  Our priority is to reach those patients who have reported symptoms.

If you have a routine appointment scheduled during your ROM status, we will not be able to see you in the clinic until your ROM is lifted; please reschedule your appointment via the Central Appointment Line or at TRICARE Online for after your ROM end date. We ask that you NOT come into the clinic if you are on ROM unless you have received verbal instructions from our staff to do so. Please notify our staff that you are in ROM status upon arrival to the clinic.

To prevent the spread of illness within your homes, please follow the CDC’s guidelines: “Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Homes and Residential Communities” https://www.cdc.gov/…/2019…/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html.

Q16: Is there a list of COVID-19 testing stations on and off base?

A16:. Multiple local testing facilities – see DHHS.com or Douglas County pages. http://dhhs.ne.gov/

Q17: For individuals that have compromised immune systems or auto-immune concerns, should they be going to a 14-day self-quarantined proactively or should they wait for a doctor’s note?

A17: Talk to your leadership. This should have already occurred in some areas. Priority one is about taking care of our people.

Q18: Are there any plans to strategically posture screening stations across the installation?

A18: The EBC has been screening patients prior to entering the facility since early March

Frequently Asked Personnel Questions

Personnel Questions

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No, there are no changes or the need for change to WAPS testing. Social distancing is and will be practiced in the WAPS center.

You can return but must coordinate with your chain of command and public health on how to proceed.

Military members will not be charged leave unless there are extenuating circumstances. There will be a special duty status code for these instances.

As of now, civilians that are directed to self-monitor by the installation commander will be placed on weather and safety (admin) leave. If you start to develop symptoms while being directed to self-monitor, you will have to switch to either sick leave or use other time off categories (e.g., previously earned compensatory time off, credit hours, time off award, or leave without pay).

If you choose to self-monitor, the situation is different. You will need to take annual leave or other paid time off categories if you choose to self-monitor. If you develop symptoms you may use sick leave. Contact your chain of command and/or the Civilian Personnel Office for more information.

If you have concerns with where a contractor has traveled, please contact the Contracting Officer Representative or the Contracting Officer and let them know your concerns. The Contracting Officer will contact the company’s management and determine the necessary steps that can be taken to protect the health and safety or our Airmen.

All sorts of contingencies and plans are being discussed at various levels. For example, if a stop movement needs to take place and when that occur. All those type of actions are in currently being discussed.

Those who are deemed mission essential will be provided a legal document. This legal document and your government ID will be presented to any authorities questioning why you are out during SIP. The local government, police and fire chief in the surrounding cities will understand that you will have to come to Offutt Air Force Base but you will have to have that documentation.

Contractors are an essential part of our mission supporting Team Offutt. The installation commander will decide which contracts he deems are mission essential and only those contractors that are mission essential will be authorized on the installation. Contracting Officers will notify the contractors who are mission essential and those that are not mission essential.

Depending on the type of contract, whether the company replaces the individual or not is generally the company’s decision to make. The government does not own the employee or direct personal actions. Certainly, the government and company might have discussions that realize the company’s performance is at risk, which may achieve the intended result.  Bottom line, the government generally should not direct a contractor to replace an employee who is out on extended medical leave.

Food, gas and medical are deemed essential. If there is any question outside of those three things that are essential, contact you chain of command.

Yes

The per diem rate will not automatically change if you are TDY here. It is encouraged that you contact the local DTS office or your home station’s DTS office.

TDYs will be allowed for mission essential training only.

All TDYs will be vetted to determine how/if the TDY will proceed and if with an exception to policy letter is required.

Graphic 1 of CDC cleaning guidance

Graphic 2 of CDC cleaning guidance

Stop the Spread of Germs

A graphic about how to stop the spread of germs

Health Protection Conditions

Health Protection Measure Graphic

Graphic 1 of CDC cloth face coverings instructions Graphic 2 of the CDC cloth face coverings instructions.  Page 3 of the CDC Cloth Face Coverings guidelines.

covid information

A graphic to remind rveryone to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Social Media

Graphic with link to the Offutt AFB Facebook page

graphic with link to Col. Gavin Marks, 55th Wing commanders, Facebook page.

Graphic with link to Chief Master Sgt. Bryan Tuman, 55th Wing command chiefs, Facebook page.

Graphic with link leading to Col. Alan Dayton, 55th Mission Support Group commanders, Facebook page.

Graphic with the 55th Force Support Squadrons logo with link to FSS Facebook page

Offutt AFB COVID-19 Videos

COVID-19 Testing Update

 

First 55th Wing deployment under COVID-19

 

RC-135U Combat Sent returns from deployment during COVID-19

 

Pediatric & OBGYN Questions


Thank You Team Offutt

COVID-19 - Proper use of Gloves


COVID-19 - Proper Face Mask Usage

 

Offutt AFB COVID-19 Briefing #3

 

Offutt AFB COVID-19 Briefing #2

 

Offutt AFB COVID-19 Briefing #1

Helpful Information

Graphic to assist parents dealing with kids emotions

Graphic with ideas on what a person can do while in quarantine