HomeCOVID-19 Information

501 CSW PUBLIC HEALTH LATEST UPDATES

Face Mask Guidance

The CDC is recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is following suit. Here is what this means for the 501st:

Why?

  • Cloth masks help to decrease the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from spreading it to others.
  • Maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains critical to slowing the spread of the virus.

When to Wear:

  • When entering a 501st installation (see guidance below)
  • When entering a publicly accessible area at the commissary, AAFES troop store/exchange, post office, gas station (register), food service, or any other facility where a 6-foot physical distance cannot be maintained or guaranteed.
  • If operating in a work center where a 6-foot physical distance cannot be maintained from others.
  • You do not need to wear a mask in personal residences or yards.

How to Wear:

  • For a quick and easy tutorial using materials you own already, click here.
  • For military members, masks should be conservative and professional.
  • Masks should not be placed on anyone under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or who is unable to remove the mask themselves for any reason.
  • The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators, as these must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

CURRENT SITUATION

 

BASE SERVICES & FACILITY HOURS

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For more information on closures, changes to operating hours, and re-openings, visit the 422nd Air Base Group Facebook page here.

For more information on closures, changes to operating hours, and re-openings, visit the 423rd Force Support Squadron's COVID-19 page here.

The 501st CSW Ground Transportation teams has everyone’s safety in mind to help mitigate exposure risks and enable social distancing. New timetables for the shuttles between RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth have been posted in all bus stops. We understand that limited shuttle runs may impact personnel and apologize for any inconvenience.

For any questions please contact 268-3950 (Ground Trans) or 268-2454 (501 CSW/LG). We want to thank everyone for your understanding in these unprecedented times.

As of 20 March 2020

  • All in-person public services are suspended at RAF Alconbury and RAF Croughton Chapels. 

  • We are exploring options for video/social media services. Bible studies and other programs have moved online or to social media. Contact chapel for information.

  • Both chapels are open Monday – Friday, 0800-1600 with reduced manning. Chapels are open for private prayer and meditation during normal operating hours. Please wash hands upon entering the chapel and maintain social distance. Chaplains are still available for counseling either by phone or in person. Call before coming to the chapel.

  • RAF Alconbury Chapel:  DSN 268-3343 or COMM +44 1480 843343

    • After-hours number: +44 1480 843713

  • RAF Croughton Chapel:  DSN:  236-8700 or COMM +44 1280 70870

    • After-hours number: +44 7725 576594

As of 21 Dec 2020 - Announced by DoDEA Europe

Please visit the DoDEA's COVID 19 site, for more information regarding DoDEA’s response.

The 501 CSW FM office will be providing MilPay, CivPay and Travel Pay customer service by telephone or appointment only effective today until further notice.  We have set up a SignUpGenius appointment link you can use from almost every platform: www.signupgenius.com/go/9040844ADAF2DA1FA7-501csw 

We will still handle urgent needs of our members on a case-by-case basis. This link is in our operation hours in the “directory” link in the Wing App.  Please call 268-3640 for RAF Alconbury or 236-8337 for RAF Croughton if you have any questions. 

  • Legal assistance will be by appointment only and limited to mission essential services. 
  • British liaison officer services will be by telephone only. 
  • For RAF Croughton, please call DSN 314-236-8650 or 01280708650. 
  • For RAF Alconbury, please call DSN 314-268-3535 or 01480843535. 
  • Normal walk-in hours are cancelled until further notice.

 

  • Beginning Thursday, March 19, both clinics will implement extra precautions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. These include limiting foot traffic to clinics by doing more over-the-phone care when possible, and screening patients before entry to clinics to minimize exposure.
  • Under current Wing Commander guidance, the on-base banks at RAF Alconbury, RAF Molesworth and RAF Croughton will remain open as an essential functions and operate following limited hours. Online banking is encouraged.

TRAVEL

Links in Graphic Below:

More Helpful links:

For more details on travel, including Frequently Asked Questions, visit the Air Force's Coronavirus web page here

Per 501 CSW Public Health, 10-day Restriction of Movement is required for some international travelers returning to the United Kingdom or Norway.  Other members of the household are not required to enter Restriction of Movement unless the traveler develops symptoms of coronavirus. 

Consider travel insurance in your future planning.  A letter in support of refunds for cancelled travel from your Primary Care Manager (PCM) is only appropriate for a personal health problem.  Please do not contact your MTF for memos for canceled travel due to COVID-19. 

When travelling, enroll in the U.S. State Department Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to ensure you get travel advisories and alerts. 

To check U.S. State Department Travel Advisories, click here.

For Travelers’ Health information from the CDC, click here.

For consolidated entry/exit procedures for each country click here. (Note: website requires CAC access)

For risk assessments and perspective regarding travel, click here. (Note: website requires CAC access)

public health guidance

If you or someone in your household is sick with symptoms (cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever, chills, shaking chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, new disturbance/loss of smell/taste) stay home, contact your chain of command, and then contact your Military Treatment Facility (MTF)/General Practitioner (GP).  If you are not at home, return immediately and directly. The MTF will help assess if your symptoms may be due to coronavirus. Stay home until a competent medical authority advises you otherwise. 

If you are instructed to stay home, you can find guidance from Public Health England and the CDC. Where possible, move any vulnerable individuals (elderly or those with health problems) out of your home for the duration of the isolation period.  If you cannot move vulnerable individuals out of your home, stay away from them and others in your home as much as possible.  Stay and sleep in separate rooms.  If you must be in a room with someone else who is well, keep at least 6ft apart and wear a face covering.  Use a separate bathroom than those that are well.  Stay in your home, arrange for necessities to be delivered and left at your door.  

There is no treatment other than supportive care for COVID-19. Drink plenty of fluids to stay well-hydrated. Use over-the-counter acetaminophen or paracetamol as needed for pain or fevers according to the package instructions.  If your symptoms are worsening, have not improved over the 10 days since onset, contact the MTF appointment line, GP, or out-of-hours resources.  If someone is having trouble breathing, persistent pain/pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face, seek emergent care.  Call ahead if possible and notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone with COVID-19.  

Cough and loss of taste/smell are likely to persist for weeks, this is not a reason to continue self-isolation.  If you have questions, contact your medical team or out-of-hours resources.

For more information on ending self-isolation see this guide from Public Health England here.

When to self-isolate:

you have a new symptoms of coronavirus

 OR

someone in your household has new symptoms of coronavirus

OR

you have had close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19

OR

you have returned from travel to a place that requires quarantine by your host nation

Close contact is defined as:

living in the same household

OR

direct contact with the case or their body fluids or their laboratory specimens, or in the same room of a healthcare setting when an aerosol generating procedure is undertaken on the case without appropriate PPE

OR

direct or face to face contact with a case, for any length of time

OR

being within 2 meters/6 feet of the case for any other exposure not listed above, for longer than 10 minutes

OR

being otherwise advised by a public health agency that contact with a confirmed case has occurred


prevention

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus from spreading: 

  • When outside the home, wear a cloth face covering in situations where it is difficult to keep 6ft (2m) of physical distancing or when in enclosed spaces with others from outside of your household.
  • Face coverings will be mandatory in shops/supermarkets within the UK as of 24 July, 2020. 
  • Outdoor exercise is encouraged daily. This should not be done with anyone other than those with whom you share a household. Ensure that you are using physical distancing from others. 
  • Work from home where possible.
  • Avoid using public transport or car sharing for anything other than essential travel (to/from work). Face coverings are required on public transport in the UK. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after using public transportation.
  • Avoid handshaking and high fives.
  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then throw the tissue away and wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap & water are not available.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use a hand sanitizer if soap & water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home, do not leave the home.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.

CDC does NOT recommend the wear of surgical or N95 facemasks for anyone other than medical personnel.  

SYMPTOMS

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Symptoms include:

Cough, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, fever, chills, shaking chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion/runny nose, new disturbances/loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea.

CIVILIAN PERSONNEL INFORMATION

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  • Weather and Safety Leave - May be authorized by organizational command, if an asymptomatic non-telework employee has been quarantined and isolated as a result of a federal, command, or public health official directive/advisory. Strongly recommend supervisors and timekeepers retain documentation (e.g. Public Health Official notice, organizational commander approval, etc.,) when utilizing admin leave for this reason. (ATAAPS: “LN” with subcode “PS”)
  • Sick Leave - Employees who are symptomatic and quarantined due to a federally identified communicable illness, such as 2019-nCoV, would use sick leave.

While NAF employees must be treated the same as APF employees in emergencies such as exposure to communicable diseases/influenza, procedures and guidelines may differ. Please refer to the posted DCPAS guidance and refer questions to NAF human resources office.

  • HQ USAFE-AFAFRICA intends to mitigate negative effects of a possible 2019-nCoV outbreak on LN employment as is consistent with applicable host nation laws and labor agreements.
  • Paid absence (IAW CTA II para 26) - May be authorized by organizational command, if an asymptomatic employee is not allowed in his/her workplace and no alternate place of work is provided. Strongly recommend supervisors and timekeepers have documentation when utilizing paid absence for this reason. CTA II, Art 26, Para 3.b. and 2.a. apply. (LNTAP: Pay code 004, reference code C263A)
  • Paid absence (IAW CTA II para 26) – In the case an asymptomatic employee is prohibited from working by order of a health authority, CTA II Art 26, para 3.a. applies. Retain all documentation from the health authority. (LNTAP: Pay code 004, reference code C263A)
  • Sick Absence - Employees who are symptomatic and identified as unfit for work with a communicable illness, such as 2019-nCoV, would follow the normal sick absence rules of engagement established in CTA II.

FAQS for COVID testing for Travel

Add Content...FAQs for COVID Testing for Travel

 

REF A -- CDC FAQs for UK to US Travel: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-UK-air-travelers.html

REF B -- CDC Order: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/UK-Airline-Testing-Order_CLEAN-R3-signed-12252020-encrypted.pdf

REF C -- CDC Media Statement: https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/s1224-CDC-to-require-negative-test.html

REF D -- Private Providers for Coronavirus Testing: General Testing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing#providers-general-testing

Q1: What new travel requirements are there to travel to the United States?

A1: Effective 28 December 2020, ALL travelers (this includes US and non-US citizens no matter military affiliation), to the US from the UK are required to have a negative COVID test prior to flight departure.  The test must be conducted no more than 3 calendar days prior to flight departure.  Travelers will need to have proof of negative test results available to provide to airport officials via electronic or hard copy.  The test result documentation must include information that identifies the person, a specimen collection date showing test was done within the 3 calendar days before the flight departure, the type of test performed, and a negative result (REF A).

Q2: Are US citizens required to get a test before travelling?

A2: Per CDC order, ALL travelers entering the US from the UK are required to take a test within 3 calendar days of flight departure and show evidence of a negative result.  This includes US and non-US citizens.

Q3: When is the test required?

A3: Test sample must be collected and processed no earlier than 3 calendar days of flight departure from the UK.

Q4: What kind of test do I need to get?

A4: The CDC order (REF B & REF C) outlines that a polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP), or antigen testing are acceptable methods for tests to be administered.

Q5: Where can I get a COVID test before travelling?

A5: For ordinary leave travel, tests can be acquired through select airports (not required to be from the one departing from) or approved private testing locations (REF D).  For official travel (PCS, TDY, emergency leave, student travel on official student-dependent travel orders, or other government-funded travel), the same sources for ordinary leave travel can be utilized at a reimbursable cost or your supporting military medical clinic may support sample collection for processing at RAF Lakenheath.

Q6: Can I go to the military medical clinic to get a test?

A6: Yes, if travelling on official orders for PCS, TDY, emergency leave, student dependent travel, or other government-funded travel.  However, samples will be subjected to transportation time to RAF Lakenheath and prioritization queues for symptomatic samples at RAF Lakenheath which may result in being notified of test results more than 48 hours later.  It is advisable to call first to identify availability but may be preferable to schedule off-base testing to ensure test results within 48 hours and not impact departure.

Q7: Can I get a test through NHS?

A7: No, not for the purposes of traveling.  NHS tests can only be used for symptomatic personnel or as advised by public health or primary care providers.

Q8: How long does it take for test results?

A8: For PCR or testing through your military medical clinic, it is estimated to take 48 hours (or more).  For antigen testing, estimations are 45 minutes.  However based on experiences from personnel, results may take longer to be returned.  It is expected as processes improve, timelines will become more reliable and more testing options to be available in the future. 

Q9: How much lead time will I need if I get a test administered at the airport?

A9: Although wait times will likely improve as the process is refined, personnel will need to make a reservation for a testing appointment prior to arriving to the airport.  The time at London Heathrow International Airport to get a test administered and results has been reported to exceed 8 hours.  With that, it is recommended travelers to have tests completed earlier at any available testing site (any airport or private provider) to allow for a timely test result.

Q10: How much does the test cost?

A10: Tests have been estimated to cost between $50 to $150 depending on the testing location and type of test.  Military medical clinic testing is available to eligible members.

Q11: Will the government cover the costs for a test?

A11: For official travel where the government is paying for the travel and travel orders are provided (TDY, PCS, Student Dependent, etc), any testing can be covered through reimbursement per Joint Travel Regulations.  Personnel are advised to maintain copies of all invoices to request reimbursement.  For any other travel purposes, including ordinary leave, costs will be covered by the traveler.

Q12: What should I do if my test comes back positive?

A12: Upon confirmation of a positive COVID test, positive travelers will immediately isolate themselves away from others, halt travel movements, inform supporting unit leadership, and be prepared to self-isolate for up to 10 days.  The member will be responsible for changing flights with SATO (if on official travel) or with the airline if on personal travel.

Some Options to Consider for Testing in the UK

Please contact below providers before traveling to sites to acquire tests to assure supportability:

-From GOV.UK, a private provider listing for general coronavirus testing: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing/list-of-private-providers-of-coronavirus-testing#providers-general-testing

-Airports

-Supporting Military Treatment Clinic      

  • RAF Alconbury: 01480 842273
  • RAF Croughton: 01280 708737

-Additional Recommendations/Considerations

  • Appointments for testing are recommended. Test results are required at time of check-in so earlier arrival times will be needed or testing prior to the day of departure may be required.

 

o   Testing at one airport may be used even if you depart from another airport.  For example, testing at Stanstead Airport on a Friday with a departing flight from Heathrow on Saturday morning is acceptable if traveler self-isolates from testing to departure. "Edit Content" from the Edit (Pencil Icon) Action Menu.

medical Contact information

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Public Health

  • 01480-844000

Primary Care

  • 01480-842273

Out-of-Hours NON-EMERGENT Assistance

  • 0800-028-3263 (MHS Nurse Advice Line) or NHS 111

Public Health

  • 01280-708024

Primary Care

  • 01280-708737

Out-of-Hours NON-EMERGENT Assistance

  • 0800-028-3263 (MHS Nurse Advice Line) or NHS 111

Public Health

  • +47 51 95 05 64

Primary Care

  • Contact your GP & +47 51 95 05 64

Out-of-Hours NON-EMERGENT Assistance

  • 00-800-4759-2330 (MHS Nurse Advice Line) or 116 117

Public Health

  • UK - NHS 111
  • Norway - GP AND Public Health at the installation nearest to you

Primary Care

  • UK - GP / NHS 111
  • Norway - GP

Out-of-Hours NON-EMERGENT Assistance

  • 00-800-4759-2330 (MHS Nurse Advice Line) 

OR

  • UK - NHS 111
  • Norway - 116 117

+(44) 20-8762-8384 (option 1)

Where to find updates