HomeCoronavirus

                   

       

Closures/Facility Updates

Latest News

Hanscom transitions to Tier 2 vaccine eligibility 

Hanscom has expanded vaccine registration eligibility to include all base personnel in Tiers 1 and 2 as defined by the Department of Defense prioritization schema. All eligible, unvaccinated individuals with a valid DOD identification card can now schedule COVID-19 vaccinations through the Defense Health Agency Appointing Portal. Read the full article here

DHA Appointing Portal available to schedule COVID vaccines

Service members, Air Force civilian employees and TRICARE beneficiaries can now schedule COVID-19 vaccinations through the Defense Health Agency Appointing Portal. The portal can be accessed at informatics-stage.health.mil/COVAX/, and officials from the 66th Medical Squadron said Hanscom personnel should be able to begin scheduling first and second vaccine doses this month. Instructions to assist eligible personnel can be downloaded here. Read the full article here

MDS, CAT prepare COVID vaccine appointment portal

Officials from the 66th Medical Squadron will soon offer a COVID vaccination appointment tool to the base population. Read the full article here

Indoor, outdoor capacity restrictions ease for Commonwealth, Hanscom

Base officials announced they will ease some indoor and outdoor capacity limits here consistent with state guidelines effective March 22. Read the full article here.

VA Bedford makes COVID vaccine available to all enrolled veterans 

[Veterans Affairs] Bedford Healthcare System in Bedford, Massachusetts, officials announced this week that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has expanded to include all veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age. Read the full article here.

Commonwealth vaccine eligibility, base travel policy updated

The Commonwealth has expanded vaccine eligibility to persons included in Phases 1 and portions of Phase 2 of the Massachusetts vaccination plan. Read the full article here.

Public Health updates COVID vaccine status

Health professionals from the 66th Medical Squadron offered additional insight to Hanscom's ongoing COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan during a virtual town hall here Feb. 10. A list of questions and answers from this town hall session is located here. Read the full article here.

AFMC incorporates civilian personnel into existing COVID-19 surveillance testing

Air Force Materiel Command expanded its COVID-19 surveillance testing to civilian personnel at four bases including Hanscom. Testing at Hanscom is slated to begin Feb. 19. Read the full article here.

Base leaders supplement SecDef mask policy 

Senior leaders here updated the installation policy for workplace handwashing, facial coverings, cleaning and social distancing via a memo distributed Feb. 8. Read the full article here.

Public Health discusses COVID-19 vaccine status during virtual town hall 

Base leaders hosted a virtual town hall to discuss Hanscom’s ongoing COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan here Feb 4. During the one-hour session, Public Health officials fielded questions about vaccine recipient eligibility as outlined in the Department of Defense prioritization schema. A complete list of questions and answers from this session is available here. Slides from the session are available here. Read the full article here

Limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine arrives at Hanscom 

The 66th Medical Squadron began administering a limited supply of the COVID vaccine today to first responders and front-line medical personnel as outlined by the Department of Defense distribution plan. Read more here

Hanscom preparing for DOD vaccination distribution

As the Department of Defense commences COVID-19 vaccination distribution and delivery, the 66th Medical Squadron here is planning to implement it on the local level. Read more here

Season of limited-size gatherings

Public Health officials from the 66th Medical Squadron recommend personnel modify holiday celebrations in accordance with national and state guidelines. Read more here

Fitness Center opens immunocompromised room, fitness bubble

The Hanscom Fitness and Sports Center has designated space for immunocompromised patrons to workout and opened the fitness bubble for group PT sessions. Read more here

MDS arms community to battle COVID fatigue 

Officials from the 66th Medical Squadron encourage the base community to remain vigilant in the battle against COVID-19 as state guidance updates. Read more here

Commander announces new Phase 2C, transition date 

Hanscom Air Force Base plans to move into Phase 2C of the multiphase Return to Full Capacity Aug. 31. Officials say the added phase will further bridge the gap between Phases 2B and 3, and will facilitate another expansion of installation access and available services. Read more here

Ruiz Gate open for inbound, outbound traffic 

Officials from the 66th Security Forces Squadron announced the Ruiz Gate (formerly Hartwell Gate) will open during select hours beginning Aug. 24. The gate will be open Monday through Friday from 6 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. for both inbound and outbound traffic. Read more here

Hanscom COVID-19 travel policy updated 

The 66th Air Base Group Crisis Action Team has updated the Hanscom Travel Policy, with the new one taking effect Aug. 1. Read more about this here

Expanded Force Support Squadron services, facilities available in Phase 2B 

The 66th Force Support Squadron will be expanding services and facility availability as the installation transitions into Phase 2B beginning July 20. Read more about this here

Hanscom Barbershop to reopen for limited clientele 

The Hanscom Barbershop will reopen July 21, but will be limited to active-duty only until further notice. Read more about this here

Commander announces transition to RtFC Phase 2B 

Hanscom Air Force Base plans to move into Phase 2B, also known as the “Vigilant phase,” of its multiphase Return to Full Capacity July 20. Read more about this here.

MDS continues virtual appointments in Phase 2A 

The 66th Medical Squadron will continue to maximize the use of virtual care during Phase 2A of the multiphase return to full capacity. Read more about this here.

CDC, School Age opens for limited care in Phase 2A 

The Hanscom Child Development Center and School Age programs are opening under restricted guidelines during Phase 2A of a phased return to full capacity. Beginning June 22, limited care will be provided for currently-enrolled families who have been identified and verified through the installation crisis action team and signed off by the member’s chain of command. Read more about this here.

Chapel services on Hanscom resuming

As Massachusetts conducts Phase 2A of reopening, Hanscom is likewise reopening limited services and facilities. One of those is the resumption of religious services held in the base chapel. Read about this here.

Fitness Center opens with restrictions in Phase 2A 

The Hanscom Fitness and Sports Center will be reopening only to active-duty military and Guard and Reserve members on active duty orders during Phase 2A of the multiphase Return to Full Capacity. Read more about this here.

MDS offers health, safety tips prior to Phase 2A 

Officials from the 66th Medical Squadron offer multiple health and safety tips to employees as the installation enters into the next phase of COVID-19 operations. Read more about this here.

Hanscom to phase in return to full capacity

Hanscom Air Force Base has developed a plan for a gradual and measured return to full capacity that will allow more employees – though by no means all – to return to work on base, possibly within the next several weeks. The installation would also bring more of its facilities and services back on line, consistent with federal and state guidelines. Read more about this here.

Department of Defense exceptions:

When an individual is alone in an office with floor-to-ceiling walls with a closed door.

For brief periods of time when eating and drinking while maintaining distancing in accordance with CDC guidelines and instructions from commanders and supervisors.

When the mask is required to be lowered briefly for identification or security purposes.

When necessary to reasonably accommodate an individual with a disability.

Department of the Air Force exceptions are as follows:

When necessary to reasonably accommodate a religious belief.

When underlying health conditions that prohibit the wear of a face covering exist and the individual is in possession of medical documentation from a health care provider outlining such a condition and the restrictions the condition places on wear of a face covering.

When outdoors and proper physical distancing can be maintained.

When actively participating in physical fitness activities either indoors or outdoors and either proper physical distancing is maintained or additional measures are implemented to mitigate the threat of transmission.

When an individual is alone in a vehicle or is sharing the vehicle only with members of their household.

When use substantively interferes with the proper wear and use of personal protective equipment necessary for the accomplishment of one's military duties.

When personnel are in primary aircrew positions during critical phases of flight or emergencies; or when using flight crew oxygen equipment.

When clear or unrestricted visualization of verbal communication are essential to safe and effective operations.

Indoor, Outdoor Gatherings Information

Remaining consistent with the protocols set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the following changes take effect Jan. 4 at Hanscom Air Force Base:

Outdoor Gatherings: Will not exceed 25 individuals.

Indoor Gatherings: Will not exceed five individuals per 1,000 square feet (max occupancy 10).

  • An indoor gathering is a planned event held in a common area, meeting room, auditorium, or at your residence, etc. (e.g., commanders call, retirement ceremony or informal training).
  • An indoor gathering is not your day-to-day business or office work (e.g., Security Forces guard mount or religious services).
  • Individuals will continue to work remotely to the greatest extent possible.

Business/Retail/Common Areas: All retail, business and common areas will be limited to 25 percent of permitted capacity.

  • If permitted capacity is not available, revert to five individuals per 1,000 square feet (max occupancy 10).
  • Facial coverings and 6 feet separation will be maintained at all times.

Exceptions to this policy: Be requested by an O-6 or civilian equivalent (Request sent to 66.ABG.CC.Workflow@us.af.mil by the requesting O-6 or civilian equivalent). Include a completed/signed Risk Mitigation Plan and be approved by the installation commander.

For further information, contact the Hanscom Crisis Action Team at 66ABG.XP.CrisisActionTeam@us.af.mil.

Key Phasing Considerations

Hanscom plans to follow a cautious, multi-phased approach.

Face coverings required where physical distancing is not possible, indoors and outdoors.

Facilities that cannot operate safely with safeguards in place will remain closed or operationally limited.

Those successfully teleworking right now would be encouraged to continue doing so.

Frequent and thorough hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand rubs is essential.

Actively encourage sick employees to stay home.

Discourage workers from using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, etc.

Maintain best housekeeping practices, including frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces, equipment and work spaces.

Employees should self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.

Restrict the number of personnel entering isolation areas.

Minimize contact among workers, clients and customers by replacing face-to-face meetings with virtual comm, when possible.

 

CLEANING/DISINFECTION OF OFFICES
As a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings, the 66th Medical Squadron currently recommends workplace cleaning procedures outline in Center for Disease Control guidelines found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html.

 

             

** Please click each question to see the response. **

COVID-19 Q&A -- Email Additional Questions to 66.ABG.CC.Workflow@us.af.mil

Medical Information

DoD Vaccine Distribution Schema

COVID Vaccine: FAQs

Keep up with COVID-19 updates by following the 66th Medical Squadron on Facebook. COVID-19 questions can be addressed to the Public Health office at 781-225-6295 or by email at usaf.hanscom.66-abg.list.publichealth@mail.mil.

Feb. 4 Town Hall QAs and Feb. 10 Town Hall QAs

Bedford VA Hospital

The Bedford VA is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all veterans enrolled in VA healthcare, regardless of age. The VA will also soon provide vaccines to veteran spouses and caregivers. 

Veterans, caregivers, spouses and CHAMPVA beneficiaries newly eligible under the law can go to www.va.gov/covid-19-vaccine to register and indicate their interest in receiving a vaccine from VA. Signing up will also give users regular updates about VA’s vaccine rollout process.

Veterans can call the vaccination call center at 781-687-4000 to make an appointment. This line is open weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., but the vaccination clinic is open daily, including weekends. Additional information on vaccine eligibility, including how to enroll into the VA system, can be found at www.bedford.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp. The Bedford VA is currently administering the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Hanscom AFB Clinic

Due to COVID-19, all services at the clinic require scheduling, including those that have previously been provided on a walk-in basis (for example, lab, immunizations, medical records, etc.). Call 781-225-6789 to be connected to the appropriate section before coming to Hanscom Clinic.  

Calling ahead for pharmacy prescriptions by calling 781-225-6173 is highly encouraged. This will minimize your wait time at the pharmacy. The Hanscom Clinic Pharmacy hours of operation to 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Beneficiaries who rely on the Hanscom Clinic for primary care should contact the clinic at 781-225-6789 if they are experiencing symptoms or have specific concerns they believe might be related to COVID-19. Base personnel who are not enrolled to Hanscom Clinic should contact their primary care provider with health-related questions and concerns.

Hanscom Resilience Cell

The Hanscom Resilience Cell has been created to virtually connect our total Hanscom community and to help manage and respond to the challenges of COVID-19 and physical distancing. Learn more by visiting their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HanscomCSC/ or email HanscomResilienceCell@gmail.com with questions, ideas, concerns and needs.

          

Protect Yourself

CDC Recommends
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
    • Wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations. Cloth face coverings may slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.