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Regional Health Command Europe
COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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Regional Health Command Europe is closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak and diligently working with U.S. military and host nation officials. The health and well-being of all personnel is paramount. Please use this webpage as a source of information, but visit your Medical Treatment Facility's page below for specific information about your community.

FAQ

As of October 26

Q: Where can I find the latest information regarding COVID-19?

Please visit the U.S. Army Europe COVID 19 information website: https://www.eur.army.mil/coronavirus

Q: Are Army Medical Treatment Facilities in Europe seeing patients?

As the number of COVID-19 cases in Europe increases, we may have to make some adjustments within our medical treatment facilities. Priority is always given to acute and emergent care and COVID-19 screening, and maximizing the use of virtual health encounters. We remain committed to maintaining the health and readiness of our beneficiaries, but changes could impact some routine appointments. Patients with appointments to address routine complaints of several weeks-months duration could be asked to adjust the timing of their appointments. If that happens, they will be contacted in advance by their Primary Care Team.

In an effort to minimize exposure risk and spread of COVID-19, we are also limiting points of entry to our clinics and we will be screening for COVID-19 risk indicators. Please fully cooperate with the clinic staff conducting the screenings and checkups. They are doing this to protect all Soldiers, family members and staff from the spread of infection.

We are committed to maintaining the overall health and Readiness of our military community while prioritizing acute and emergent care. We apologize for any inconvenience and will do our best to maximize access to care. If you have questions or need more information, please contact your primary care provider. For the most current information about your medical treatment facility's status, visit https://rhce.amedd.army.mil/COVID19info.html, or visit your MTF Facebook page.

Q: Are Army Dental Clinics in Europe seeing patients?

Army Dental Clinics are providing full dental services under strict COVID-19 guidelines in accordance with the CDC, DOD and Host Nation guidance, and in partnership with SROs and garrison commanders. We are primarily treating active duty military. Dental care for family members continues to be limited at the present time.

Q: Are military pharmacies open? Can Soldiers get medications from a military pharmacy?

In order to maintain patient and personnel safety amidst COVID-19, we will take actions as prescribed by Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Risk Levels and health official's guidance and will adjust our Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) Pharmacy operations as necessary. Careful local assessments will determine the status of each individual military pharmacy and may result in temporary measures to adapt to this changing situation. In extreme circumstances, there may be temporary, partial or full limitations of MTF Pharmacy services. These will be temporary solutions that will be assessed daily.

In the case of a local outbreak or a confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst MTF Pharmacy teammates, MTF Directors have been authorized to limit pharmacy services as necessary. We don't expect any of these limitations to be a routine practice but rather a case-by-case determination based on the severity of the spread of COVID-19 at a specific location. If pharmacy services are limited, they will be assessed daily and reopened as soon as it is safe for personnel and beneficiaries.

Call your Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) pharmacy refill line to check for changes to service offerings, closures, and resumption of services: You can look up your pharmacy's number via www.tricare.mil/mtf

Q: Do patients still need to wear a face covering when visiting an MTF?

Yes. All patients six and over are required to wear a face covering at all times when visiting an RHCE Medical or Dental Treatment Facility.

Q: Are COVID-19 Screening Clinics still open, and what is the current testing criteria?

Yes, all Army COVID-19 Screening Clinics continue to operate. Please visit your Army Medical Treatment Facility's COVID-19 information page for details (links below). Testing has been expanded to those patients who display two or more of the following symptoms: fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain/aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, and contact with a confirmed COVID positive case.

Q: If I need to get a COVID-19 test as a condition of government-funded travel, or at the direction of my commander, is the test free?

Authorized TRICARE beneficiaries will not be charged for COVID-19 Testing at Army Medical Treatment Facilities. Unit commanders may pay for testing of Non-TRICARE beneficiaries at private vendors or MTFs, or reimburse employees under certain conditions. Please check with your supervisor or chain of command for more details.

Q: If I was tested for COVID on post, how do I retrieve my results?

The fastest way is through Tricare Online – ALL Active Duty, Family Members, GS Civilians and Contractors can register for a Tricare Online Account even if you do not have Tricare insurance

  • Go to www.tricareonline.com
  • Click Log in in the upper right corner to get to the portal.
  • Select: Need an account? * Select: I am one of the following….
  • Fill in required information. WAHC Wiesbaden will be your MTF
  • Complete token authentication
  • Once you have an account, select Log- in
  • Once logged in, click on Health Record
  • Select the Laboratory Results Tab from the column on the left side of the page.

Q: What happens when someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Personnel who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate (completely restricted to quarters) for at least 14 days following the onset of symptoms. If an individual has completed 14 days in isolation since the onset of symptoms AND if the individual has been free of symptoms for three days, the individual is eligible for release. If the individual still has symptoms, he/she will remain in self-isolation until free of symptoms for three days. Release authority for positive individuals is a public health worker, functioning under the authority of a supervising garrison public health emergency officer. Some local governments still require a negative COVID-19 test before release from isolation.

Q: What is the difference between quarantine, isolation and restriction of movement (ROM)?

ROM is an umbrella term for any Restriction of Movement of an individual or group to prevent or diminish the transmission of a communicable disease. The following are categories of ROM:

  • Isolation: You have COVID or are reasonably suspected because you are displaying symptoms. This ROM is the physical separation of an individual or group for a minimum of 14 days in an isolation facility or residence following the onset of symptoms, until release is cleared medically through testing.
  • Quarantine: You may have been exposed to COVID. This ROM is the precautionary separation of those who may have been exposed to COVID-19, but may not be ill. This includes newly arrived PCS personnel or those returning from designated 'High Risk' areas. These personnel are not allowed to leave their quarantine location until the completion of 14 days. If an individual in quarantine tests positive or displays symptoms, they go into isolation.
  • Unit-Directed: These are temporary restrictions on non-essential errands for a period of time, as specified by a unit commander. Unit-directed ROM is used to limit movements to enable contact tracing and results of random testing within a formation, or to preserve combat power ahead of a deployment or exercise.

Q: How do you define close contact?

A contact event is generally described as: 1) being within six feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for 15 minutes or more cumulatively over a 24 hour period, 2) being in an enclosed area or workspace (ie: office) with a COVID-19 positive individual for 15 minutes or more or 3) contact with respiratory or bodily fluid (ie: coughed or sneezed on, touched infected surface, etc.) by a COVID-19 positive individual. These are only guidelines. Trace teams receive additional training and guidance on which interactions constitute a close contact.

Q: What's the difference between "physical distancing" and "social distancing"?

"Social distancing" was used across the USG, DOS, DoD when the COVID-19 virus outbreak expanded as a means to explain best health practices to reduce the spread of the virus; it continues to be the common terminology. "Physical distancing" is an alternative phrase used as a way to reinforce the necessity to stay in communication with personnel but to avoid physical contact which may spread the virus. Both terms are acceptable and may be used along with the context provided above as best serves the understanding of your specific audiences.

Q: What is the difference between Clinical Testing and Surveillance Testing?

Clinical testing is for people that are either symptomatic, identified as close contacts, official travel, or require it a medical procedure. While we will always contact patients that have positive results, Clinical Testing results (positive and negative) are retrievable through TRICARE online (TOL).

Surveillance testing is essentially batch testing that allows us to process a lot of samples over a shorter period of time. This is a tool you can use to get a snap shot of your workforce's health. Results from surveillance testing are not reported back unless there is a positive. In that case, those results will come back through the clinical team and the patient will be notified. This is a "no news is good news" situation and if they don't receive notification is 72hrs then they can assume they are negative.

Q: What are Force Health Protection Conditions (HPCON)?

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?

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: What is Operation Warp Speed?

Operation Warp Speed's goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures). Learn more at https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/explaining-operation-warp-speed/index.html

Medical Treatment Facilities

If your MTF isn't linked below, we are still gathering the most current guidance and will get it listed as soon as possible. Check back here for updates.

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