Naval Air Station Whidbey Island Logo Commander, Navy Region Northwest  |  Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
Commander, Navy Installations Command
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FAQ

June 18, 2020

The Path to Reconstitution

As one of the first states to grapple with stopping the spread of COVID-19, some counties in Washington State have fared better in their mitigation efforts than others. That includes Island County. While Island County will proceed with measures to reopen some business by early June, the Navy is taking a more measured approach. This is necessary due to the nature of our national defense tasking, where mission readiness is our priority. That readiness is dependent upon the health and safety of our service members, their families, and our other employees.

As the Navy continues to follow procedures designed to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, there are multiple polices and supporting guidance that govern the restoration of services at NAS Whidbey Island over the next few months.  As members of Team Whidbey, base personnel must adhere to these policies that support mission readiness while maintaining health and safety standards.

The reset plan for restoration of services will occur in stages. The initial stage, Stage 0, included procedures such as wearing face coverings, taking temperature scans at workplace entrances, as well as obtaining safety barriers such as plexiglas sneeze shields. 

NAS Whidbey Island moved into HPCON Bravo and Stage 2 in mid-June. The base has maintained very low numbers of cases thus far, so any small increase in case numbers may result in a reduction of the services we have openend. Therefore, it remains important for every member of Team Whidbey to continue taking the proper precautions.

During his virtual Town Halls, NASWI Commanding Officer Capt. Matt Arny fielded a number of questions. Those questions and the subsequent answers follow. Anyone who wants to ask a new question may do so by sending an email to the following email address – WHDB_NASWI_PAO@navy.mil, or private message via the NAS Whidbey Island Facebook page.

Health & Personal Safety

Question:  When will mask wearing requirements end or loosen?

Answer: This comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidance and I do not anticipate easing this requirement anytime soon. Some facilities, such as medical, the NEX, the Commissary, and others require all staff and patrons to wear a cloth face covering (CFC) when in their spaces, but the Base requirement is that if you cannot meet physical distancing requirements (even for a few minutes while transiting a space), then you must wear a CFC.

Question: Is there a timeline on changing HPCON status?

Answer: There is not an exact timeline on changing HPCON statues. Changes will be based on appropriate criteria and coordinated with other regional DoD installations.

Question:  Rumors are floating that active duty members will not be allowed to go to public places, such as barber shops and restaurants, when they open during Phase 2. Is it true? If so, what are the restrictions, as I see active duty military personnel going into Walmart and Home Depot and other places now?

Answer: Commander Navy Region Northwest released a message this week that allows service members in this area to utilize facilities in counties that have been authorized by Washington State to reopen. But, this must also be in accordance with individual command policies. You must check with your Chain of Command to determine if you will be allowed in businesses in the community. If you are in town, in uniform (and even if you are out of uniform) making an essential stop to shop or pick up food, you should wear a cloth face covering if you cannot maintain physical distancing.

Travel

Q: With a status change to HPCON ‘B’, does that lift leave/liberty restrictions from NASWI tenant commands, to ‘green’ zones annotated on the COVID-19 travel tracker? https://www.mnp.navy.mil/group/don-covid-19-travel-tracker

Travel scenarios: NAS Whidbey Island is a designated Green Installation

1.       Sailor PCS’ing from Corpus Christi to FRC. Will be driving cross country with a stop to see family in Northern California.

a.       Texas is Green, NAS Corpus is Red – waiver required

b.       If NAS Corpus was designated Green – no waiver would be required.

c.        California is Red, so the Gaining Command needs to discuss this with the Sailor, because it will impact their ROM requirement.

d.       If the Sailor leaves from a Green Installation, travels through Green states, and arrives at a Green Installation, then ROM may not be required. Command must determine risk of exposure based on guidance.

2.       Squadron is sending a small detachment to NAS Fallon for a week, aircrew will be flying down and maintainers are going via NALO.

a.       Nevada is Green, NAS Fallon is Green –  No waiver required

b.       Use of MilAir takes away concern of exposure from flying commercial.

3.       Family is PCS from Japan to VP squadron, will fly commercial to SeaTac and command sponsor is picking them up to stay at NGIS until they can find an apartment.

a.       Japan is Green, NAF Misawa is Red – waiver required

b.       Commercial flight adds high risk of exposure to family, so command will plan on ROM support for 14 days. If their apartment is open on day 3, then they will need additional support since they can’t break ROM to go shopping for supplies, but they could move into the apartment to complete ROM.

NOTE: Canadian travel ban is extended to 21 July

 

Housing,  Barracks & Lodging

Mosquitoes

Question: What is being done to address the major problem with mosquitoes on Seaplane Base?

·         Can you mow to help with the mosquitoes?

·         Maybe cut the grass shorter?

·         What about the fields that are 2-3 ft. tall?

·         Will they spray to help control the amount of the bugs?

Answer: The base’s mosquito mitigation plan has five components.

1) Surveillance – Collecting information about which species of mosquito live in and affect our community. This information helps determine which measures are the most appropriate to mitigate them while not adversely affecting other elements of our environment.

2) Habitat mitigation – We mowed down the area around and south of the Navy Lodge because we believed that reduction would reduce the mosquito intensity while not excessively impacting other wildlife. Tall grass isn’t necessarily an indication of an area being a mosquito habitat. As we collect information and determine other areas of habitat we should address, we will do so.

3) Larvicide – The best way to reduce the mosquito population intensity is to attack them at the larval stage. We are working with our base support contractor and the EPA to use larvicide to do that.

4) Barrier spray/adulticide – We are also working with our base support contractor and the EPA to use other sprays to immediately address an area of intensity when needed.

5) Resident involvement – Residents can help control mosquitoes by taking measures to ensure they do not have standing water or the accumulation of water in areas where mosquitoes will readily breed. Please make sure you do what you can to mitigate potential habitat at your yard and call in mosquito issues to Hunt so they, as part of our mosquito mitigation team, can provide us information to address a particular area.

Question: Unaccompanied Housing (UH) – Is there a plan to make the single Sailor housing single person rooms to further protect them?

Answer: If a Sailor in UH is determined to be high-risk due to close contact with a positive or is screened due to symptoms and is a person under investigation (PUI), then we appropriately separate them and go through cleaning protocols and other measures to include contact tracing and providing single-occupancy rooms to potentially infected personnel. However, we do not have the capacity nor is there really a need to provide single-occupancy rooms to all personnel.

Question: How long will Sailors ROM? What will be the maximum distance they will be allowed from the local area? Will there be a gradual increase in distance for families to travel the state of WA?

Answer: ROM is 14 days for each case and I don’t expect the requirements for ROM to remarkably change anytime soon. As we progress through the recovery/reset, I anticipate we will see gradual increases in the distance personnel and families could travel. Now that NAS Whidbey is a designated Green Installation, liberty policies are being updated by COB each Monday to take into account the risk of exposure inside of traditional liberty limits. Check with your Chain of Command for the current policy.

NGIS and Navy Lodge can accept non-official travel reservations Active Duty personnel. At this time, there is no Space-A usage of these programs (note: there is no Space A travel either). 

Base Access & Security

Warning - AVOID PACKAGE PIRATES

“If you know or see something.  Say something!”  

There has been a small upswing in the theft of mail packages in base housing. If you have had a package stolen or have experienced other thefts, please report it to the base security department.  The reporting of crimes alerts the Security Department of the criminal behavior so they can document incidents, investigate them, and maintain statistical accountability for crime prevention efforts.   There are steps personnel can take to help prevent package delivery theft.

(1) Use a security camera at your front door or porch.

(2) Require a signature on delivery.

(3) Set up delivery alert notifications so you can go home.

(4) If you cannot be home, try to reschedule or delay the delivery date.

(5) Try to submit your order so it will arrive on your day off or when someone is home.

(6) Have your packages sent to alternate secure location, such as a P.O. Box, Amazon delivery site, store pickup or FedEx/UPS location.

Question: Will the base open additional Gates to deal with increased traffic as the base starts to reopen?

Answer. All Gates are currently operating under their normal hours. Any changes will be passed using AtHoc, so make sure you are signed up to receive notices on your mobile device.

MWR, Fleet & Family Service Center including Child & Youth Programs

Please click on the following link for information on N9 program information

https://whidbey.navylifepnw.com/news/d471de30-8063-437d-9a5d-6d95d65d23e0

Chapel

 

Seating in the chapel has been marked to encourage and maintain physical distancing. The congregation is limited to 50 maximum, and everyone is required to wear cloth face coverings when entering/exiting the chapel. Ceremonies that require physical touching or passing of artifacts are not allowed. Small group counseling with less than 10 people will resume. The group size will be able to grow as HPCON levels improve.

 

NEX & other Base Services

Barber Shops and the Beauty Salon will open June 21.  All customers and staff must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Customers will wear a mask, cape, and use hand sanitizer. There is no waiting area and haircuts will be by appointment; you will be allowed into the shop at your appointment time. Follow they floor marking and signs to ensure physical distancing.

The NEX will resume tailor service and dry cleaning June 21.  The tailor shop is by appointment; only one customer is allowed in  in the shop at a time. When dropping off or picking up dry cleaning, customers will be required to bag and tag their own laundry. The staff will coach customers through the process.

 

Question: Is there a timeline on when the Recycle Center will reopen?

Answer: The Recycling Center is open to support the on-base commands/activities or personnel living in the barracks only. If commands or on-base personnel need to drop off material or need them to come collect large material, please make an appointment. They are open from 0730-1130 Mondays through Thursdays; you can contact the center at 360-257-5481.

We will evaluate additional service and expanding hours over the next few weeks as we work through the reset stages.

Question: When will the base veterinarian open?

Answer: We anticipate this will be one of the services we re-establish during the stage 1 to 2 transition. If you need services such as administering requirements for a PCS move, then contact them at 360-257-2001/2118.

Question: Any idea when the colleges will be allowed back on base?

                -  On-base schools:  Will slowly start phasing a return to work no earlier than 06 July, or later as directed by installation CO or the school's internal health and safety guidance

 

                - School Counselors: Are available virtually for both on-base and distance learning programs. Contact the Navy College Program Region Advisor, Gil Williams, for their contact information:

                gilbert.w.williams@navy.mil  360-396-0218

 

 

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COVID-19 TOWN HALL QUESTIONS

March 20, 2020

Important resources and links

NAS Whidbey Island:

https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/installations/nas_whidbey_island.html

Follow NAS Whidbey Island on Facebook and Twitter

US Navy COVID-19 updates:

My Navy Portal: https://my.navy.mil/index-lb.html

Navy Region Northwest COVID-19 Website:

https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/om/COVID-19.html

CDC COVID-19 recommendations (including advice for pregnant women):

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/protect-family.html

CDC Travel Notices:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

Child/Youth Programs (CYP): https://www.navylifepnw.com/          NavyLifePNW app

            Regatta: (360) 257-6572

            Clover: (360) 257-3302

            School Age Care (SAC): (360) 257-0889

COVID-19 Diagnosis/Treatment:

Follow Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor (NHCOH) on Facebook

*** If you are having difficulty breathing and feel you are in an emergency situation call 911.

Nurse Advice Line: (800) 874-2273, Option 1 or https://mhsnurseadviceline.com/

NHCOH: (360) 257-9500

Whidbey Health: 360-240-4055

Island County Department of Health: 360-678-2301

(Mon-Fri 0800-1630, Sat-Sun 0900-1600)

Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (includes CDC fact sheets and references)

https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/program-and-policy-support/Pages/Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

Emergency Management:

Ready Navy: https://www.ready.navy.mil/

Washington State: https://mil.wa.gov/emergency-management-division

 

Fleet and Family Service Center/MWR (Fleet and Family Readiness):

 (360) 257-NAVY         https://www.navylifepnw.com/         NavyLifePNW app

Facebook – Navylife NAS Whidbey Island

 

Fraud: Report it to local police or https://www.ncis.navy.mil/

Information at the Federal Trade Commission site: www.ftc.gov/coronavirus.

 

Hunt Housing:

(360) 679-4241           RentCafe app             Facebook - Whidbey Island Family Housing

 

My Navy Career Center (MNCC):

833-330-6622             askmncc@navy.mil

My Navy Portal chat (computer or connected device)      https://my.navy.mil/index-lb.html

 

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS):

360-257-2728 Mon-Fri, 0800-1600

Find them on Facebook and Instagram at “NMCRS Whidbey Island”

 

Ombudsman:

https://ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil/ and select “Contact Your Ombudsman”

 

State/Local Government:

Washington State Department of Health COVID-19 information:

            https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus

Island County COVID-19 information:

            https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Health/Pages/COVID-19.aspx

Skagit County COVID-19 information:

            https://www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/HealthDiseases/coronavirus.htm

 

Helpful Apps

            NavyLifePNW             MyNavy Family          NFAAS             RentCafe

 

 

 

Q: Some Child Development Home providers are closing, what is the base doing about that?

A: Contact the Child/Youth Program director and if you are in a mission critical situation, we will ensure your childcare needs are filled.  Contact your unit chain of command for whether you fall within the mission critical guidelines they set.

Q: I hear that other military bases (USAF) are closing their CDCs. I wonder if that is likely to happen here.

A: We do not intend to close the CDCs as long as we are able to appropriately provide the service and we have personnel who are critical to the mission and need the service. There is risk involved in this, but as long as there are children who need care under the current circumstances the installation needs to provide that service. With that said, if you can work with your chain of command to build flexibility into your work schedule so you can care for your children at home, it will help mitigate risks associated with the CYP programs.

Q: How can staff members working at NASWI daycare facilities come to work if their school age kids are at home? What are you doing to help?

A: There are children of staff members accommodated in our CYP programs so those parent staff members can provide care for other families who need the daycare facilities. Each staff member then is able to care for multiple children in daycare, which goes a long way to relieving stress parents, personnel critical to the mission, are feeling during this crisis.

Q: When the governor addressed the public earlier about closing schools, he asked schools to provide childcare for healthcare workers. What is the situation on NASWI? Will childcare be provided in this case?

A: If you are a first responder or health care worker on the installation and you need child care services, please reach out to the Child Development Center or Child/Youth Program staff so the installation can help you with your child care needs.

Q: If we are limiting gatherings to ten people or less, isn’t keeping the CDCs open a contrary policy?

A: The installation needs to facilitate the ability of mission critical personnel to do their job. The CDC is taking extra precautions, such as securing water fountains and using single use cups for water, not self-serving food, extra sterilization protocol, and limiting some play areas such as the sandbox and water play area. The goal is to limit the risk while still providing care to facilitate mission critical functions in support of the Navy’s mission.

 

Q: With schools now closed, will the Youth Center try to implement more study time for kids to learn?

A: As we transition through the process, in conjunction with local government and schools, we are certainly looking into the possibilities of implementing a study program at the Youth Center. Parents should reach out to their children’s school, as well, to explore resources they may be able to provide for home study.  The Youth Center and Child/Youth Program is open to any ideas parents may have so we can continue to provide childcare and the children can continue to learn.

Q: Does the Child Development Center need additional staff and how will background checks be handled?

A: We are currently in the process to hire additional childcare staff. If new hires have not completed a thorough background check they must have a modified investigation and must always be within line of sight of one of the cleared employees.

 

Q: Are the CYP facilities able to be kept clean to a standard and do they need help from Sailors?

A: Current staff members and janitorial services are maintaining the extra cleaning precautions we have instituted to ensure the CYP facilities are clean.  There is also a process in place to do a shutdown sanitization if needed.

 

Q: Maybe changing fees to hourly care if sailors only have to go in for watch or duty.

A: Hourly care for situations such as this is available. Please contact the CDC.

 

As of  March 23, the Clover CDC was  consolidated into Regatta. About 40 additional seats are coming open. The staff/children are grouped into cohorts to reduce any potential spread of COVID-19. Each cohort has separate break and play rooms. This will be in place until the Centers for Disease Control determines that high-risk individuals can safely return to work.

COMMISSARY/NEX

 

There is no plan to close the commissary or the Navy Exchange.  Both facilities have resumed normal operating hours. Cloth face coverings are still required for all customers and early shopping hours are still being observed from 0900-1000 for older customer, immune-compromised customers, and pregnant customers.

 

 Q: How long should we have supplies for? 1-2 weeks? 1-2 months? I am overwhelmed with the idea and have no idea where to start.

A: We recommend at any time to have an emergency supply for 14 days because we live on an island and have not changed our recommendation in this situation. You can find more information for disaster preparedness at https://www.ready.navy.mil/ and https://mil.wa.gov/emergency-management-division.

 

DEPLOYMENTS / HOMECOMINGS

 

Q: Will my service member be extended past their planned arrival date in the midst of this pandemic? What will happen to Squadrons that are set to deploy soon? Will this impact when they are set to leave?

A: We are not aware of any changes to deployment or homecoming schedules at this time. Stay connected with your ombudsman if you are a family member. If you do not know how to reach your ombudsman, please contact them through https://ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil/ and select “Contact Your Ombudsman” or call the FFSC Nor’Wester. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY and always find their number at https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services. If you are a service member, stay connected with your chain of command. Those resources will be able to provide you with as much information as they can at a given moment, with considerations toward operational security.

 

Q: How are service members returning home from Level 2&3 countries being cared for? Are they being quarantined before being allowed into the community? How is the base helping to reduce stigma for those in these countries returning home?

A: When anyone comes from a Level 2 or 3 country they are put into a restriction of movement status (ROM).  This is not a quarantine or isolation as long as they do not have symptoms and have not had close contact with a COVID-19 positive case. The Sailor would go into their living quarters (barracks room, family housing unit or their property in town) for 14 days.  The Sailors are put in ROM status because they came from a Level 2 or 3 country, NOT because they are symptomatic.  The installation and operational units on NAS Whidbey Island are posturing to put entire squadrons in ROM if need be – again, in their own barracks room, housing unit or apartment/house in town.

 

Yes, personnel in a ROM status should minimize contact with others. However, as long as they are not symptomatic, family members should treat them as if they returned from any other location in the US at this point in the pandemic.

You can find the CDC Travel Notices, which define level 2 and 3, here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

 

Q: What if my household has a person who is more at risk from COVID-19, such as compromised immune systems or underlying health issues?

A: If a ROM’d Sailor is returning home and there is someone in the home who is at risk, their chain of command should be informed. Each person has to address their own situation. If the Sailor is not symptomatic, discuss the situation with your health care provider and understand that as long as they are not symptomatic, family members should treat them as if they returned from any other location in the US at this point in the pandemic. If needed, the ROM’d Sailor can be placed in a location that is suitable given their individual situation.

 

Q: Are Sailors coming on NALO being screened?

A: NALO is the airlift that we use to carry our personnel and equipment to various locations for detachments and deployments. Sailors are being screened at the point of departure and again at arrival for all flights within the US and from overseas.

 

Q: Will they (the sailors coming back from deployment) be quarantined separately for 14 days prior to joining family and community. Or, if they will be expected to quarantined at home with family members?

A: When anyone comes from a Level 2 or 3 country they are put into a restriction of movement status (ROM).  This is not a quarantine or isolation as long as they do not have symptoms and have not had close contact with a COVID-19 positive case. The Sailor would go into their living quarters (barracks room, family housing unit or their property in town) for 14 days.  The Sailors are put in ROM status because they came from a Level 2 or 3 country, NOT because they are symptomatic.  The installation and operational units on NAS Whidbey Island are posturing to put entire squadrons in ROM if need be – again, in their own barracks room, housing unit or apartment/house in town.

 

Yes, personnel in a ROM status should minimize contact with others. However, as long as they are not symptomatic, family members should treat them as if they returned from any other location in the US at this point in the pandemic.

You can find the CDC Travel Notices, which define level 2 and 3, here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

Q: Has there been a discussion with psychologists or sociologists at Family Service Center on how to have age appropriate discussions with kids on why mom or dad can't hug them or must stay away?

A: While we are limiting in-person counseling, support groups and classes, and with schools being closed, we are exploring other ways to get Sailors and their families the tools they need during this stressful time.  If you are in crisis and need help, call the Fleet and Family at 866-854-0638. You can also call Military One Source at 800-342-9647.  Continue to monitor the Fleet and Family Services website, https://www.navylifepnw.com/, the NavyLifePNW app, and follow “NavyLife NAS Whidbey Island” on Facebook for information on counseling services.

 

Q: What will be the new protocol for service members returning home from deployments?

A: Firstly, we are not aware of any changes in schedules at this time. As we get closer to a specific homecoming, we will evaluate the situation and determine what protocols we need to create to effectively conduct the homecoming but minimize the number of people involved. We will work closely with command leadership, ombudsman and the MWR Homecoming team to determine the appropriate measures and to distribute the information.

 

Q: Will those of us without a dependent ID card be granted access to base to pick up our loved ones with the current changes to the homecoming process?

A: If a service member is relying on you to be there and provide transportation for their homecoming and you do not have a dependent ID card, the command will provide the installation with an access list to ensure only those who require access will be permitted to attend. This applies to the current situation and may change to be more restrictive if necessary. Make sure the service member provides that information to the command.

 

Q: Will (command) still be leaving xxxxxx, as they haven’t even been given an original leave date?

A: We cannot comment on specifics for commands and deployment dates and locations. Commands will notify the service members and ombudsman will assist in providing information in an appropriate manner to families. If you do not know how to reach your ombudsman, please contact them through https://ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil/ and select “Contact Your Ombudsman” or call the FFSC Nor’Wester. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY and always find their number at https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services.

 

Q: What are we doing to prepare our sailors who are leaving on deployment who may be quarantined upon arrival to their deployment location? How are we working with other locations to make sure our sailors are prepared for a quarantine?

A: If a command directs personnel to ROM (restriction of movement), they will also coordinate food and other necessities to ensure personnel can comply with required processes. The Wings (CVWP and CPRW X) are also prepared to work with squadrons that have large numbers of personnel required to ROM.

Quarantine is a status for someone who was possibly exposed to COVID-19 whereas ROM is a status whereby a person is restricted in movement as a precaution typically due to geographic movement.

 

 

ECONOMIC/FINANCIAL

 

Q: If a family is quarantined or in ROM status, how are we expected to get groceries?

A: This is where Team Whidbey has to come together.  Commands are fully aware we need to take care of our own. Contact your chain of command for support if you are in a ROM or isolation status, they will work with you to help.

 

 

Q: What are financial resources to support us during these times?

A: As always, Sailors can reach out to the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society for help in financial matters.  You can call them at 360-257-2728 Mon-Fri, 0800-1600, and find them on Facebook and Instagram at “NMCRS Whidbey Island”.

 

Q: Who do I reach out to for information on fraud?

A: For information on current fraud activities, and to report fraud, go to https://www.ncis.navy.mil/.  You can also contact local police.  Another site to go to for information is the Federal Trade Commission site at www.ftc.gov/coronavirus.

 

 

HOUSING

 

Housing has resumed in office services and inspectionsby appointment only. PPE, including cloth face coverings, are required for staff in the office and in houses during services.

 

For any concerns with base housing, you may contact Hunt Housing at (360) 679-4241 or through the RentCafe app.

 

You may also contact the Housing Service Center at the Nor’Wester at (360) 257-NAVY and always find their number at https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Housing Service Center in Services.

 

Q: Are barracks inspections going to continue?

A: Yes, barracks inspections will continue. The potential for more incidents of destructive behaviors are troubling to me as we put distance between leaders and our Sailors through social distancing measures. Sailors in the barracks will have more idle time and our personnel who have issues that are already affecting their home life are likely to find this time more troubling. This period will challenge our efforts to ensure ALL of our Sailors live in a culture in the barracks of respect, cleanliness and dignity. We must continue inspections and khaki presence, but in a reasonable way taking appropriate precautions.

Q: Is there an option for a married Sailor who may have the disease or is in ROM status to stay in the barracks?

A: The installation does not have the capacity to fit Sailors who already live in military housing or off base. Please work with your unit leadership if there are concerns over at-risk family members so the installation can work with the command to find a funded, suitable solution.

 

Q: What if a Sailor with a roommate in the barracks gets COVID-19?

A: The Sailor who tests positive will be isolated in the room. The Sailor who is the roommate will be put into a ROM status in another room and screened according to CDC and BUMED protocol.

 

Q: Can my elder dad travel from out of state to live with us during this crisis?

A: Military commanders cannot restrict family members from traveling to or from a location in CONUS.  The installation commander can restrict base access during certain force protection or health protection statuses. With that said, Seaplane Base and housing would not normally fall under that restriction so that customers can access to the NEX and commissary. Family members should follow current CDC guidelines for travel.

 

Q: What is the status for parks and playgrounds?

 

 

A: The playgrounds are not under a sanitization protocol, but the installation will continue to align with the local community as much as possible including the use of playgrounds. Please follow social distancing protocols at parks, beaches and other community locations both on base and off.

 

Q: How is the base implementing social distancing within commands?

A: Each command is empowered to enforce social distancing guidelines.  That includes each individual, whether a supervisor or not, ensuring social distancing guidelines are implemented properly, minimizing meetings and attendance, using telework and teleconference capabilities, and establishing the distributed workforce that minimizes personnel in work spaces.

 

MEDICAL

 COVID-19 Screening vs. Testing

 

NHCOH has implemented a drive through screening process, in which EVERYONE

intending to enter the Clinic must go through, to evaluate for influenza

like illnesses.  SCREENING involves evaluation of history, symptoms, and a

focused physical exam if indicated. Not all patients seen at the drive-thru

SCREENING will be TESTED (swabbed).  The decision to TEST (based on CDC

guidelines) is at the discretion of the screening officer supervising the

drive-thru at the time. If it is determined you meet TESTING criteria for

COVID-19, you will be tested at that time.

 

COVID-19 e-Screening.

A new, safe way for beneficiaries to fill out a COVID-19 screening

questionnaire.  Beneficiaries can logon to the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal

and fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire, which then goes to a nurse who will

respond via the portal. This new e-visit capability is also documented in

the MHS GENESIS electronic health record, ensuring providers have awareness

when following up with patients.

 

To create and then access the MHS GENESIS Patient Portal, visit

https://no-click.mil/?https://patientportal.mhsgenesis.health.mil.

 

Q1: If you think you have COVID-19, what should you do? Who can be screened for COVID-19? Who gets tested?

A: If you suspect you may have COVID-19, the first thing you should do is stay home. This is because staying home helps mitigates the spread of the disease.  You can call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-874-2273, Option 1 or go to https://mhsnurseadviceline.com/ . You can also call Whidbey Health at 360-240-4055 or the Island County Department of Health at 360-678-2301 (Mon-Fri 0800-1630, Sat-Sun 0900-1600). If you are having difficulty breathing and feel you are in an emergency situation call 911.

Follow Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor on Facebook and watch for All Hands emails to get the latest information on NHCOH services and COVID-19 protocols.

 

Q: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

A: Symptoms include a dry cough, fever and shortness of breath.  The symptoms can be very mild in some people. 

 

You can find more information at https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/om/COVID-19.html.

 

If you are feeling symptoms and you aren’t sure call the Nurse Advice Line at 800-874-2273, Option 1 or go to https://mhsnurseadviceline.com/ . You can also call Whidbey Health at 360-240-4055 or the Island County Department of Health at 360-678-2301 (Mon-Fri 0800-1630, Sat-Sun 0900-1600). If you are having difficulty breathing and feel you are in an emergency situation call 911.

Follow Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor on Facebook and watch for All Hands emails to get the latest information on NHCOH services and COVID-19 protocols.

 

Q: Should I wear a facemask around the base?

A: Most people in public do not need to wear a facemask if they are well.  If you do have a respiratory illness, if you are coughing or you may have been exposed to COVID-19, then you should wear a face mask.  If you are in care of someone who is sick and known to have a respiratory illness then consult your health care provider on appropriate precautions.

 

Q: When is COVID-19 most contagious?

A: COVID-19 can be contagious at any time during its process, however it is most contagious when the symptoms are at their worst.

You can find more at https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/om/COVID-19.html

 

Q: Who is at highest risk of catching the disease?  Who is at risk for a more severe case of the disease?

A: Those who are at highest risk are those with a history of travel, or who are in contact with someone who has COVID-19.  People at risk for a more severe case of the disease include the elderly, people with heart disease, diabetes, or people with lung disease.

 

Q: What are the procedures when someone is being tested?  Will they be quarantined until the test comes back?

A: When someone meets the criteria to be tested, they will be put into a quarantine status.  If a person is tested off base, outside of the military system, they should inform their chain of command immediately so appropriate actions can be taken.

 

Q: What can I do to avoid infection?

A: There are several steps you can take to avoid contracting COVID-19.  These include regularly washing your hands for more than 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, keep your area (whether at home or work) sanitized, stay away from crowds, practice social distancing, and stay at home if you are sick.

 

Q: How are the clinic personnel handling specimens for the COVID-19 diagnostic testing?

A: The clinic does not do the laboratory work to complete the testing. Medical personnel will administer the swab test, but the specimens are batched together and shipped to Madigan Army Medical Center where they are processed.  The turn around time, from when they arrive at Madigan to when NAS Whidbey Island gets the results, is typically 24-36 hours.

 

Q: How many tests do you have at the clinic?

A: One of the reasons people are screened for COVID-19 is the supply of tests, while adequate, is limited.  Please call the resources listed for verbal screening if you believe you may be symptomatic or exposed.

 

Q: How many patients can the clinic handle if this virus spreads on our base?

A: The clinic is not set up to deal with a patient with COVID-19.  Most patients will do well with isolation at home. Patients who are more severely ill will have to go to an inpatient facility.

 

Q: I have a concern that we are being encouraged to use Express Scripts mail order pharmacy services because the NHCOH Pharmacy is a high risk area but by using Express Scripts comes copays that will put a financial burden on families with chronic conditions and people who are out of work due to this virus. Is there going to be something put into place to waive these copays during this crisis?

A: The Pharmacy staff is working to deliver the service while taking precautions. We are not aware of any policy waiving co-pays for ExpressScripts at this time for dependents, retirees and others. Active duty personnel do not pay a co-pay for ExpressScripts service. We will forward your recommendation to appropriate offices.

 

Q: Does NASWI Clinic have the right equipment and enough of it to protect its service members and families?

A: The clinic has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its staff members and patients.  Our first responders also have appropriate PPE, which they are using when appropriate but judiciously.

 

Q: What is the risk to pregnant women?

A: Please refer to the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/protect-family.html and talk with your health care provider. If you have concerns, please discuss them with your supervisor so they can address your needs.

 

Q: What is the protocol of investigation (to determine who else may be infected) if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

A: Once NAS Whidbey Island is informed of a positive case (Sailor, civilian or contractor) the NHCOH would contact Island County Department of Health immediately.  They would then determine, to the best of their ability, who the Sailor was in contact with – who they live with, where they live, what their work space is and how close they work with other people – and Island County DoH, along with the NHCOH public health officer, would reach out to notify those people.  Depending on the closeness of contact and duration of contact, it may be determined those people in contact with the positive case may be put in ROM status pending screening.

 

Q: Why is the current policy put out by the base and by NHCOH to stay home only 72hrs after a fever when this virus is known to the CDC and WHO to be contagious for longer than symptoms are present. Sailors are being encouraged to stay home and only get tested if they are experiencing severe conditions in which they need medical intervention. They wouldn’t know if they had the virus, then return to work shortly after spreading the virus to their coworkers.

A: NHCOH follows CDC guidelines through the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center. The CDC recommends to discontinue isolation after 72 hours have passed since fever and clear of symptoms. Please see the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health COVID-19 website, which includes resources, and CDC fact sheets that cover this issue.

https://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcphc/program-and-policy-support/Pages/Novel-Coronavirus.aspx

 

Q: How can we confirm that there have been no cases on base when service members aren’t being given the test even when experiencing symptoms? My husband HAS symptoms and he was given SIQ for three days, was told to stay home and that a test was unnecessary unless his symptoms become severe.

A: Not everyone with symptoms is tested after screening, which can be unsettling with all the concern in our community. NHCOH and the local hospitals are following CDC protocols that provides a process for screening and testing. This leaves uncertainty in households but is in compliance with established protocol.

Other Medical Services

 

 Medical Home Ports/Primary Care

Family Medicine, Pediatrics and Aviation Medicine continues to manage all acute and essential medical issues, either by phone or in-person visits.

 

NHCOH encourages all patients to call their providers to discuss the need for an in-person appointment.  Please refrain from bringing unnecessary visitors; to the greatest extent possible.  Family members (including children) who are not scheduled to be seen by a provider should not attend appointments along with patients. We appreciate the extra efforts put forth to keep our population safe and healthy.

 

Increased Access from Home with Virtual Visits: Practicing physical distancing is the responsible, wise decision at this time.  Our primary care and pediatrics clinics offer virtual visits, allowing you to remain safely at home while consulting with your provider. Virtual Visits are accessed by calling the clinic to set up a date and time, or send a secure message to your provider via MHS GENESIS Patient Portal.

During NHCOH business hours, patients in need of Acute/Essential Care should call the following numbers:

 

Aviation Medicine 7-9400

Family Medicine 7-9561

Pediatrics 7-9782/8966

 

All-Virtual Care Format on Saturdays

Virtual Visits can manage all types of encounters that do not require a physical exam or more complex care.  Both virtual and in-person visits are available from 0800-1600 Monday through Friday and only Virtual Visits on Saturdays from 1000-1400.  As usual, there are no services offered on Sunday and federal holidays. 

 

With Virtual Visits, there's no need to leave home, spend time in the car, social distance, wear a mask, or sit in a waiting room. Virtual appointments can be scheduled through PSMAC, NHCOH clinic offices, MHS GENESIS Patient Portal, or the Nurse Advice Line.  Staff will assist you in determining if your appointment can be completed virtually or if an in person visit will be needed. 

 

For symptoms such as moderate-to-severe difficulty breathing, chest pain, high fever or inability to hold down fluids call 911.  If you opt to go to the ER, please call ahead and notify them of your symptoms; they may route you to a different hospital based on availability.

 

Pharmacy

In order to standardize services during the work week, Pharmacy operations will align with in-person visits.  The Pharmacy will be open Mon-Fri from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for new prescriptions and refills.  NHCOH Pharmacy is closed on weekends.  Please consider other opportunities such as Express Scripts/TRICARE Mail Order Pharmacy (TMOP) or utilizing local pharmacies. For high-risk patients in need of acute pharmacy service, please consider sending an alternate person with a front and back copy of your government issued ID card for pickup at our clinic pharmacy.

 

CLINIC Hours

Mon - Fri  (In person and Virtual) - 0800 to 1600 Saturday - Virtual

Appointments Only - 1000 to 1400 

 

PHARMACY Hours

Mon- Fri  0730 to 1600 (New prescriptions and refills) Saturday - Closed

 

Procedure Updates:

COVID-19 Screening vs. Testing

 

NHCOH has implemented a drive through screening process, in which EVERYONE intending to enter the Clinic must go through, to evaluate for influenza like illnesses.  SCREENING involves evaluation of history, symptoms, and a focused physical exam if indicated. Not all patients seen at the drive-thru SCREENING will be TESTED (swabbed).  The decision to TEST (based on CDC guidelines) is at the discretion of the screening officer supervising the drive-thru at the time. If it is determined you meet TESTING criteria for COVID-19, you will be tested at that time.

 

AVIATION MEDICINE/OPTOMETRY

Aviation Medicine continues to support the mission by keeping our Units Deployable and ready to respond to our Nation's demands. Deployment Health and other ancillary services will be available for operational requirements.

 

 

Optometry services are available for active duty service-members with readiness or operational requirements, or in need of acute care. Patients with an existing prescription may reorder glasses by calling 7-9600 or by visiting the G-Eyes website: https://srtsweb.amedd.army.mil/WebForms/GEyes/Forms/GEyesHomePage.aspx

 

PEDIATRICS

Starting June 1st, well child care will be expanded to include all well baby visits through age 2 years old, as well as 4 and 11 year well visits.   We encourage children to stay up to date on immunizations. Immunizations can be given on the same day as your appointment.  If a well visit is not needed, but you believe your child is behind or due for routine vaccinations, please call the Immunizations Clinic at 360-257-9591 prior to arrival.

 

OBSTETRICS/GYNECOLOGY (OB/GYN)

OB continues to manage prenatal care using a reduced visit schedule augmented by virtual/telephone appointments.  Laboratory and Radiology will continue to do OB work ups that are time sensitive and cannot be delayed. 

 

GYN care will prioritize acute care needs and operational readiness.  The walk in contraception clinic will remain closed for the time being; virtual and face to face appointments are available. Elective procedures are being managed on a case by case basis.  Your provider will discuss the need for surgical management with you if necessary.

 

SPECIALTY CARE AND ANCILLARY SERVICES

Orthopedics will resume in-person appointments to include consults and follow up appointments.  Priority will be given to acute injuries and operational readiness concerns.  Virtual/telephone appointments will be utilized where appropriate.  Elective procedures are being managed on a case by case basis.  Your provider will discuss the need for surgical management with you if necessary.

 

NHCOH Laboratory continues to provide support to our providers, prioritizing acute care, pandemic surveillance and operational readiness while supporting routine laboratory evaluations.  The laboratory is open M-F from 0700-1600.

 

*0700-0930 will be prioritized for personnel with fasting labs (as directed by their provider) and active duty undergoing flight physicals or PHAs. 

*             0930-1600 for routine work up, unless directed otherwise by your provider or nurse.

*             Due to sample handling and processing requirements, not all labs can be drawn at all times.  The chart below provides general guidance. Please call the laboratory at x9670 or the ordering provider for any questions you may have.

 

Radiology continues to support our providers, to include routine evaluations.  Radiology is open Mon-Fri from 0730-1600 for walk-in X-Ray studies as directed by your care provider.  To schedule Ultrasound and CT exams, please call x9630.

 

Physical Therapy is accepting referrals and will continue to operate utilizing both virtual and in-person encounters. In-person services remain reduced.  Immediate post-operative patients, patients with acute injuries and other patients whose conditions require hands-on care as assessed by the

Physical Therapists, will receive in clinic services.  All other patients will be managed with home exercise programs with scheduled re-evaluations that take place either in clinic or over the phone.  Patients can schedule appointments by phone at (360)-257-9695.

 

BEHAVIORAL HEALTH AND SARP

Behavioral Health (BH) continues to provide acute services. All behavioral health follow up appointments will be conducted over the phone. If you are unsure what type of appointment you have please contact BH, they are open from 0730-1600 and can be reached at 360-257-9484/9485.

 

Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Program (SARP) referrals will continue as normal.  Guidance for IMPACT, OP, IOP, and group can be provided by calling the clinic at 360-257-2394.  SARP follow up appointments are conducted over the phone or in person.  No show policy continues to apply. Clinic is open from 0730-1600.

 

DENTAL

Dental services have expanded to include ALL Active Duty readiness exams, priority given to those overdue and in operational billets.  Please contact the Dental Clinic at (360) 257-2302 to schedule at your earliest convenience.  Emergent care (sick call) will continue for deploying and symptomatic patients.  Elective services such as hygiene cleaning and routine (elective) operative procedures are still suspended.      

 

OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE

NHCOH Audiology is currently operating on a limited capacity to comply with physical distancing guidelines, testing 2 individuals at a time, and is only performing audiograms for the following reasons:

 

-              Aviation Up-Chits

-              Personnel deploying within 30 days

-              Personnel separating within 30 days who have not had an audiogram done within the past 12 months

 

Testing is performed on a scheduled basis, rather than walk-in, to reduce wait times. If you are assigned to an aviation command, please coordinate with Aviation Medicine for same-day scheduling.  If you are assigned to a shore command, please call Occupational Medicine Clinic at (360) 257-9925 to

schedule.

 

Due to a risk of transmitting COVID-19 during Spirometry testing, NHCOH Occupational Medicine Clinic is limiting this procedure for personnel deploying within 30 days, pre-placement and termination exams determined on a case by case basis by the OM provider.

 

NEW - Occupational Health Appointment Email for anyone needing to schedule an Occupational Health Appointment. Please submit all SECNAV 5100's and appointment requests to our NEW email:

usn.whidbey-island.navhospoharwa.mbx.occupational-medicine@mail.mil This group can be found on the NAS Whidbey Island and the Global address pages

 

DEPLOYMENT HEALTH

Physical Health Assessments (PHAs) - The Deployment Health Center encourages you to schedule your annual PHA.  These are primarily virtual, however some components do require an in-person visit.   Lab testing, immunizations, dental, audiograms, and flight physicals will be in-person.  Please get in touch with your PHA point of contact at your command or your squadron corpsman to make arrangements for your PHA.

 

Helpful Resources

 

COVID COACH - If you need a little extra support coping during the COVID-19 pandemic, then check out the COVID Coach.  This app was created for everyone, including veterans and active duty, to support self-care and overall mental health during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

 

1. Military Crisis Line. 24/7 confidential and toll-free support for service members and veterans in crisis. Call 1-800-273-TALK (option 1), text 838255 or visit www.militarycrisisline.net.

 

2. Military OneSource. Confidential non-medical counseling available to service members and families. Call 1-800-342-9647 or visit www.militaryonesource.mil.

 

3. Navy Chaplain Care. Communications are 100 percent confidential unless the service member decides otherwise. Call 1-855-NAVY-311 to request chaplain support or visit http://www.navy.mil/local/chaplaincorps/

 

4. Psychological Health Resource Center. Free and confidential professional health resource for service members, families and clinicians. Call 1-866-966-1020 or visit http://www.realwarriors.net/livechat to speak with a consultant 24/7.

 

5. Centers of Disease Control. This is a trusted resource with good information.

https://www.cdc.gov/./if-y./caring-for-yourself-at-home.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/caring-for-yourself-at-home.html

 

Helpful Contact numbers:

1.            Nurse Advice Line: 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273), option 1

2.            Puget Sound Military Appointing Center: 1-800-404-4506

3.            HealthNet Federal Services, TRICARE West Region: 1-844-866-WEST (1-844-866-9378)

4.            NHCOH Patient Advocate - 360-257-9554

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISSION ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL (MEP) / BASE STATUS

 

Q1: Why don’t you just shut down the base?

 

Q2: Are you not concerned that by avoiding going to mission essential personnel only that you are putting the entire community of Whidbey Island in danger? Due to the fact that the virus be asymptomatic a sailor exposed at work could unwittingly spread the virus to hundreds.

 

A: You may be aware of the concept of “flatten the curve.” If we do nothing, we get a spike in cases; when we take measures – such as social distancing – we “flatten the curve” so the spike does not get higher than what our health care system can handle.  While this also spreads the number of cases over time, we have to weigh the measures it takes to mitigate the risks of this illness with our operational requirements we face to be the Navy the nation needs.  We still have a mission and we still have forces deployed overseas, and we are still planning for all scheduled deployments and homecomings.  We continue to maintain the operations of the installation because operational commanders and fleet commanders need the NAS Whidbey Island-based squadrons ready to go out and do their mission.

 

Q: Can someone please explain why my husband's supervisors have been told they can work from home, but my husband has to stay there? He has already potentially been exposed and we have a child with asthma. Why doesn't the base have to make more changes? Why isn't the base going essential only for 14 days? Why do our kids and business in the community have to shut down, but not the largest employer? What good does isolation do if our spouses still have to be on the base being exposed?

A:  We continue to maintain the operations of the installation because operational commanders and fleet commanders need the NAS Whidbey Island-based squadrons ready to go out and do their mission. With that said, the installation command is in contact with tenant commands, Island County and Washington State authorities to take measures to distribute the workforce – such as telework – to minimize the number of people coming to work at NAS Whidbey Island.  Some people can’t telework or work remotely due to their job.  Some supervisors, who are able to do their job via computer or phone connection, are being sent home to telework. It’s up to the commands onboard NAS Whidbey Island to balance risk mitigation, especially with individuals who have at-risk family members at home, and operational requirements.  Please stay engaged with your supervisor, chain of command and ombudsman for information on how your particular command is operating at this time.

 

Q: I realize Island County has been much less hit in this issue than Pierce/King/Snohomish Counties. With the large numbers of personnel (military and civilian) who transit to the base daily, is enough being done to prevent spread of this disease from even coming on to the base from the South.

A: Unit leadership onboard NAS Whidbey Island are empowered to determine how they handle the mitigation of risk versus their operational requirements. Military personnel and human resources have given commanders the means to be flexible in what decisions they make to lower the risk and still perform their mission. Sailors should contact their individual supervisor and chain of command to discuss their situation and determine if they should telework due to their situation. If you are required to be at work, take all appropriate measures to minimize the risk of spreading the virus while completing your critical mission.

 

Q: How are the commands enforcing social distancing for the service members who have to report to work?

A: Across NAS Whidbey Island, commands are taking measures to enforce social distancing and distributing the workforce.  There should not be large gatherings for non-mission essential reasons. There may be meetings that have to take place, with personnel gathered, but commands are working to reduce the number of people in those meetings, and ensure there is enough space between the participants to mitigate the risk of the spread of COVID-19.

 

Q: Will the community and military families be notified if there is a positive case on base?

A: If there is a positive case on base, the Navy will send a release. This may not be immediate, as it takes time for test results to come back and there are Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act (HIPAA) considerations for the privacy of the individual, but a release will be sent out.

 

Q: Any word on how many cases on the island or other thresholds that need to be met for the island to be sealed off?

A: You can get all information on Island County’s response to COVID-19 at https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Health/Pages/COVID-19.aspx. All decisions pertaining to movement in Island County or the State will be handled by Island County and Washington State governments.

 

Q: How many commands are in duty sections?

A: Status varies by command and based on daily mission requirements. Contact your chain of command for information on your particular command’s operational requirements.

 

Q: What sanitation practices are happening on base and on planes so that if my family is practicing social distancing and quarantining, my husband doesn’t bring it home with him and infect us?

A: We clean in accordance with CDC guidelines and we also have our support services ready to sanitize a space if needed. We rely on our janitorial services, but are also relying on Sailor power to help keep areas clean.

 

Q: My husband works on construction projects on base – are they going to continue?

A: Yes, we have many construction projects on base and Public Works staff are reviewing each project for their necessity to ensure we continue projects critical to Fleet needs and consider pausing on projects when we can afford to do so.

 

Q1: If a member’s wife has an auto immune disease, and heart condition, should he still be going to work? What if he catches COVID-19 and passes it on to her?

 

Q2: Many sailors have family members that fall into the vulnerable populations group. Concerning to me is the fact that many sailors are pregnant themselves or have significant others who are pregnant at home. With nearly no peer reviewed evidence regarding the effects of covid-19 on the developing fetus, why is the risk of transmission from sailor to family member not being taken more seriously? Why has the installation not shifted to essential personnel only? We are leaving our families vulnerable.

 

Q3: If a member’s wife has an auto immune disease, and heart condition, should he still be going to work? What if he catches COVID-19 and passes it on to her?

 

A: Contact the supervisor and chain of command to review your individual situation to determine if they can help. We cannot comment for all situations, as each case needs to be addressed on its own. There are many ways that policies developed this week empower commands and supervisors to consider this situation.

 

 

Q: If Washington State orders a state-wide lockdown will that cause NAS Whidbey Island to go to mission essential personnel?

A: NASWI commands have been using many methods to distribute the workforce to reduce opportunity to spread COVID-19 while performing critical operations.

·         Telework: We have moved into a distributed workforce through evolving telework guidance and utilization of weather/safety leave and other HR processes.

·         Minimizing number of personnel: All commands are minimizing the number of personnel required while meeting their readiness requirements.

·         Mission Essential personnel (MEP): Up until today’s date, NASWI is not in a MEP status. We typically use Mission Essential personnel (MEP) for weather-related events and other natural events, but it has not been appropriate in this case yet. MEP severely affects important operations, but it still may be used as the situation develops.

·         Coordination with local and state governments: NAS Whidbey Island continues to coordinate with local and state governments while maintaining operations. If Washington State goes into a state-wide lockdown, shelter-in-place, or other similar order, NAS Whidbey Island will continue to work to align as much as possible to our community while also meeting operational requirements. At some point, this could involve additional Health Protection Condition (HPCON) measures and/or a MEP status.

 

We will inform via news release, social media, All Hands message and AtHoc notification. Check our website https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrnw/installations/nas_whidbey_island.html or follow NAS Whidbey Island on Facebook and Twitter for any changes to status.

 

Q: Can the base commander stop service members from traveling on leave?

A: Any commander can restrict the service members under his or her cognizance to taking leave only in the local area by the recent order of the Secretary of Defense. The local area, or liberty limits, is determined by your command.  Check with your chain of command for those limits.

 

Q: Are family members restricted from traveling?

A: Military commanders cannot restrict family members from traveling to or from a location in continental US (CONUS) locations.  The installation commander can restrict base access during certain force protection or health protection statuses. Family members should follow current CDC guidelines for travel.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

 

Q: How can I reach out to the command to ask further questions?

A: You can send your question to the NAS Whidbey Island Public Affairs Office at whdb_naswi_pao@navy.mil.

 

Q: If it comes down to essential personnel on base only, who specifically would fall under that category?

            A: This would be the same process as experienced during weather events. Commands will determine who is mission essential to meet essential requirements and those would be more limited than we are experiencing at this time.

 

PCS, RETIREMENTS, SEPARATIONS, TDY

 

Q: How are Sailors on PCS orders affected?

A: PCS moves have been stopped and we continue to see adjustments in the policy. To date, NASWI has seen 141 PCS moves affected for outbound personnel. Talk to your local command and/or My Navy Career Center (MNCC) for clarity on what entitlements you qualify for in your particular situation. To contact MNCC call 833-330-6622 or email askmncc@navy.mil.

 

Q: Will there be any restrictions on HHG moving companies getting on base? We are currently in the Navy Lodge awaiting housing and delivery of HHG.

A: No there will not. If you require a pack-out kit of air mattresses, pots, pans and other essentials, please contact the Nor’Wester Fleet and Family Support Center. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY, through https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services.

 

Q: What about individuals who have had their household goods/POV picked up but haven’t departed their location?

A: Talk to your local command and/or My Navy Career Center (MNCC) for clarity on what entitlements you qualify for in your particular situation. To contact MNCC call 833-330-6622 or email askmncc@navy.mil. As always keep your command, either your gaining or current, informed of your situation.

If you require a pack-out kit of air mattresses, pots, pans and other essentials, please contact the Nor’Wester Fleet and Family Support Center. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY, through https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services.

 

Q: If my spouse is retiring will we be placed on hold?

A: There is no hold on retirements and separations.

 

Q: My husband is mid TDY and now all TDYs are cancelled. Will my spouse be coming home as expected or will he actually be delayed by almost 2 months?

A: There are no changes in TDY schedules due to this pandemic at this time. Please contact your command ombudsman for more information. If you do not know how to reach your ombudsman, please contact them through https://ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil/ and select “Contact Your Ombudsman” or call the FFSC Nor’Wester. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY and always find their number at https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services.

 

Q: Spouse is in schooling in Jacksonville, due to finish beginning of April. Will he be able to return home when school is finished?

A: There are no changes in TDY schedules due to this pandemic at this time. Please contact your command ombudsman for more information. If you do not know how to reach your ombudsman, please contact them through https://ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil/ and select “Contact Your Ombudsman” or call the FFSC Nor’Wester. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY and always find their number at https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services.


Q: To the best of my knowledge, my spouse is stuck on the Lincoln carrier. When will they be brought back to WA? Will they have a 14 day quarantine at the base before they can return to their family homes?

A: There are no changes in TDY schedules due to this pandemic at this time. Please contact your command ombudsman for more information. If you do not know how to reach your ombudsman, please contact them through https://ombudsmanregistry.cnic.navy.mil/ and select “Contact Your Ombudsman” or call the FFSC Nor’Wester. You can reach them at (360) 257-NAVY and always find their number at https://www.navylifepnw.com/ or through the NavyLifePNW app and select Support Services.

 

Q: Does that mean no families, domestically or internationally, can accompany service members on PCS moves?

A: If a service member is waived to execute a PCS move, you will have to discuss your specific situation with Navy Personnel Command to address dependents. Contact your detailer or MNCC by calling 833-330-6622 or email askmncc@navy.mil.

 

 

 

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