For the latest Alabama COVID-19 Updates please visit: ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
SUMPTER SMITH JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE LOCAL INFORMATION:
CURRENT: HEALTH PROTECTION CONDITION (HPCON)
DOD MASK WEAR POLICY IN EFFECT
A message from the 117th Air Refueling Wing Leadership: We are doing everything we can to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. Department of Air Force personnel and their families, live, work and attend school in this community and we are committed to doing our part to limit the spread of this virus. We are following risk-based measures consistent with guidance from the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as considering travel advisories, and encouraging base personnel to follow Force Health Protection guidelines. We are working closely with our state and regional/local health officials to ensure our detection and response efforts are coordinated. Preservation of our people’s health and the mission is paramount.
Latest SECDEF Update toTravel Restrictions
117 ARW CHAPLAIN CONTACT INFORMATION
Lt. Col. Daryl Hamaker, Chaplain
Phone: 205-477-7834 (Home) 205-908-1536 (Cell)
Email: email@example.com (Office) firstname.lastname@example.org (Home)
FOR UPDATED INFORMATION ON THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 (COVID 19) VISIT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
Alabama Department of Public Health - https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/covid19/
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - https://www.coronavirus.gov
What the U.S. Government is Doing - https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus
SOCIAL MEDIA SITES:
Twitter: @CDCgov, https://twitter.com/cdcgov
Instagram: @CDCgov, https://www.instagram.com/CDCgov
UPDATE: (15 APRIL 2020) Due to the current situation, the Comptroller Flight will be handling customer service by email and phone only until further notice. Please use only the following email addresses and phone numbers:
Pay & Travel issues - email@example.com
Budget issues - firstname.lastname@example.org
Superintendent – Office 714-2323
Budget Officer – Office 714-2937
Comptroller – Office 714-2331
Special Note for Retirees:
Retirees over age 70.5 should note the CARES Act not only eliminates RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) for 2020, but any RMD that otherwise needed to be taken in 2020.
For those that have already taken their RMDs - in view of the CARES Act, may wish to 'return' unwanted and no longer necessary RMDs. The CARES Act has specific restrictions regarding
RMDs for beneficiary (inherited) IRAs and the RMDs associated with those accounts. Please seek the advice of your tax professional for specific questions about RMDs and any related tax liability.
If you have questions...please contact Lisa Gamble: Cell: 205-612-7316 or Email: PFC.AL.NG@zeiders.com
TRICARE for T32
Air Force - https://www.af.mil/News/Coronavirus-Disease-2019/
DOD – https://www.defense.gov/Explore/Spotlight/Coronavirus/
CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
DHS – https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/02/02/dhs-issues-supplemental-instructions-inbound-flights-individuals-who-have-been-china
MHS – https://health.mil/News/In-the-Spotlight/Coronavirus
OPM - https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/covid-19/
MyPers - https://mypers.af.mil/app/answers/detail/a_id/46624
VA - https://www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/financial-literacy/COVID-19-financial-relief-time-extensions.pdf#
TRICARE FOR TITLE 32
AIRMEN WHO OWN SMALL BUSINESSES:
A Comprehensive Guide to the CARES Act for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
When implemented, the CARES Act will make many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. The guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.
Tricare is waiving copayments for doctor-ordered COVID-19 testing, retroactive to 18 March 2020. Beneficiaries that have already been testedcan file a claim for reimbursement. See attached flier from Tricare. Also, service members in the AL ANG with Tricare coverage may be seen and tested for COVID-19 at Maxwell AFB. The results at Maxwell are currently next day.
A few important updated notes about COVID-19 testing at Maxwell AFB:
1. All Tricare customers (including Tricare Reserve Select) are now eligible for free testing at Maxwell medical center.
2. The COVID-19 testing station is a drive-through tent behind the Maxwell medical center. It is open from 0700-1600 M-F.
3. At this time, only symptomatic patients are receiving tests at Maxwell AFB.
a. Reported fever of at least 100.4 F. (You do not have to measure above 100.4 F at the time of testing.)
b. Shortness of breath
c. Dry cough
f. Pink eye
4. Patients should be sure to tell the provider if they have been in close contact (6ft radius for at least 10min) with a COVID-19 positive individual.
5. Turnaround time is averaging 24-30 hours.
6. Additional eligibility questions can be addressed to the Flight Medicine group at 334-953-5273.
Tricare Nurses Helpline 800-874-2273
Maxwell Appointment Number 334-953-3368
Q. What are Force Health Protection Conditions (HPCON)?
A. Much like the guidance that CDC provides to the public, the Department of Defense provides similar guidance to military commanders. The primary difference is that the DoD guidance is designed to ensure the Department of Defense can continue to perform its mission. Installation commanders use the HPCON framework to select an appropriate response to a public health emergency or incident of public health concern. The framework clarifies uncertainty associated with these situations and provides options based on the scope and severity of the situation.
Q. What are the different HPCONS?
A. The following is a brief description of each HPCON level.
HPCON 0 – Normal Operations. No known health risks, other than diseases endemic to the area surrounding the installation.
HPCON A – Limited Disease Threat. There is a limited threat to personnel based on the existence of a disease or unusual human health threat that has the potential to rapidly move into the local area (i.e., an area defined by each installation as consisting of a predetermined distance or a list/map depicting by-name counties surrounding the installation).
HPCON B – Moderate Disease Threat. There is a moderate disease threat and/or a real risk of exposure to personnel due to a significant outbreak of disease in the local area or imminent spread of disease to the local area. HPCON B would be employed by the commander if notified by the PHEO that there has been an initial case identification of a contagious disease, such as a novel influenza, or a dramatic increase in the risk of acquiring a new significant disease from the environment within the local area.
HPCON C – Substantial Disease Threat. There is a substantial threat of disease for personnel due to a local epidemic outbreak of a disease with a high morbidity rate, imminent spread of such a disease to the local area, and/or a wide area of contamination that requires special or costly avoidance procedures.
HPCON D – Severe Disease Threat. A local epidemic with a high mortality rate or imminent spread of such a disease to the local area will drive enactment of HPCON D.
Q. Why are installations moving to HPCON Charlie now?
A. Based on the spread of COVID-19 across the world and reduce further exposure within the Department of the Air Force and our local communities, commanders are believe it is prudent to declare a public health emergency and put additional health protection measures in place.
Q. How do current movement restrictions affect families and civilians?
A. All personnel are strongly encouraged to limit movement on- and off-installation. Civilian personnel are not directed, but are strongly encouraged to follow the recommendations.
Q. How do you determine which personnel require a physical presence to support essential missions?
A. Each commander is responsible for determining which of their personnel is required to support essential missions. The decision is made in consultation with mission partners based on the unique requirements at the installation. Typical installation support functions such as security, food, medical, communications, command and control, critical operations functions, and contracts required for mission continuity will generally me considered essential missions. Essential activities also include readiness generating and development/test of defense capabilities. Specific installation lists may include other key functions, but commanders will tailor the list to fit their specific mission.
Q. If personnel are not required to be present in order to support physical missions and are unable to telework, what are they expected to do?
A. All Airmen should follow Force Health Protection and CDC guidance to avoid contracting or spreading respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19. Additionally, Airmen will be provided duty requirements by his/her chain of command.
Q. Am I allowed to travel to visit my family in another city/state?
A. All personnel are strongly encouraged to limit movement on- and off-installation. Installation commanders determine the leave radius for their installations.
Q. Can I telework with my children home from school/unable to attend the CDC?
A. Yes. As of March 8, 2020, Department of the Air Force civilian personnel performing telework during an emergency (e.g., continuity of operations event, office closure due to adverse or inclement weather, or pandemic health crisis) are authorized to do so with a child or other persons requiring care or supervision present at home. Employees must still account for work and non-work hours during their tour of duty and take appropriate leave (paid or unpaid) to account for time spent away from normal work-related duties (e.g., to care for a child or dependent).
Q. If my job is deemed not required to support essential missions, and I cannot work remotely, will I still be paid? Do I have to take leave?
A. If employees have been directed to stay home and are not eligible for telework or are incapable of teleworking due to the nature of their work or technological limitations, local commanders have the discretion to offer weather and safety leave.
Q. Can I be forced to telework, even if my position is not telework eligible?
A. In extraordinary situations, DoD federal employees can be mandated to telework regardless of their telework eligibility or status. Local commanders who have directed an alternate worksite can mandate telework for all civilian employees under 5 CFR 550.409.
Telework can be mandated under the following situations:
1. Law, or Presidential directive mandating federal workforce telework
2. DoD or Air Force emergency/ continuity plans: The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 provides for the incorporation of telework into the continuity of operations plan (COOP) of the agency. Per 5 U.S.C. 6504(d)(2), Agency COOP plans supersede telework policy. Specifically, an employee can be mandated to telework when the DoD or Service COOP plan mandate
telework. For the Air Force, this is when the Air Force or a respective location has implemented COOP level 3.
3. A pandemic has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the DoD Component issues an evacuation order to an alternative worksite (e.g. home).
Q. How do I know if I’m required for essential missions during COVID-19?
A. Members required for essential missions for COVID-19 may differ from other events. If your installation is in a higher HPCON status and you don’t know your status, work through your chain of command. Local commanders will determine essential missions in coordination with mission partners.
Q. My state issued a stay at home order but the mission I support has been declared essential, what should I do?
A. Some states have made blanket exceptions for government employees supporting essential missions. If your state has not, ask your chain of command for documentation that confirms your mission essential status.
Q. I am a Department of the Air Force Civilian. If my job is deemed not supporting essential missions, and I cannot work remotely, will I still be paid? Do I have to take leave?
A. The Air Force will follow the guidelines outlined by the Office of Personnel Management.
Q. Can the DOD help local communities by providing medical equipment such as masks/gloves/respirators/resources)?
A. With the President’s declaration of an emergency under the Stafford Act, all requests for medical equipment should be routed through your State Emergency Management Agency to the lead federal agencies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Health and Human Services.
Q. There are inconsistencies with how commanders are implementing measures across the force. Is DOD going to provide guidance?
A. Secretary Esper during press briefing 23 March 2020: “There will be inconsistencies because every situation is unique. It's unique by the type of unit. It's unique by the mission. It's unique by the location, and any other number of a factors. I have to trust our commanders and our senior NCOs are taking all the right precautions. We're fully implementing the CDC guidance. We are also working hard to implement the president's 15-day plan to slow the spread of the virus.”