SecDef issues guidance on cloth face coverings in public space
In accordance with guidance released earlier today from the Secretary of Defense, “Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation). This includes all: Military Personnel, DoD Civilian Employees, Family Members, DoD Contractors, all other individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities.”
Read the full memo here. The Air Force released information that supplements DOD's guidance here.
SFS explains COVID-19 base access procedures
As Hanscom AFB continues to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, installation access will be limited to essential personnel and necessary deliveries.
“With the increasing spread of the COVID-19 virus, it is important to preserve the security, safety and well-being of personnel at Hanscom Air Force Base,” said Maj. Shane Watts, 66th Security Forces Squadron commander.
For further information, visit the full announcement here.
Commander announces additional changes, effective 7 p.m. March 24
In concert with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Stay-at-Home order issued March 23 and effective at noon March 24, the installation commander has directed an orderly transition of Hanscom AFB to a base reporting status of required essential personnel only effective at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 24. Individuals deemed to be essential during the current emergency situation are to be notified by their supervisors.
Some key provisions of the transition:
- Units are authorized to implement their Continuity of Operation (COOP) Plan to ensure key mission areas continue through other means.
- Critical services such as police, fire, command post, and CAT will continue to operate.
- Access to the base will not be denied by SFS to any personnel with authorized credentials (i.e CAC or military/dependent ID card).
- The Sartain Gate (previously Vandenberg Gate) will be open 24x7. The Ruiz Gate (previously Hartwell Gate) will be closed effective 7 p.m. March 24.
- Commercial Vehicle Search Area will not be manned, but Hanscom security forces will respond when large vehicles require search.
- Base service contracts will continue to operate per direction from Operational Contracting.
For further information regarding this, visit the announcement here.
Hanscom housing residents: What do recent state and base announcements mean for you?
To combat the evolving spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Governor Baker has directed the Department of Public Health to issue a stay at home advisory outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols. Residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this two-week time period.
What does this mean for our housing residents? To be clear, residents are not simply confined to their homes under the governor’s guidance or any associated base guidance.
Travel to and from essential services is still permitted. This includes the grocery store/food services, pharmacy, gas, take-out food, work as required, medical care (call ahead unless an emergency).
Read more about this here.
Article: Hanscom Air Force Base announces first COVID-19 case (March 20)
Article: Hanscom leaders give community update (March 19)
Article: Commissary adjusts shopping limits, early bird access
Article: Commander addresses COVID-19 response in virtual town hall (March 17)
Air Force Travel Restrictions
Latest Air Force Travel Guidance
Department of Defense Travel Restrictions
Stop Movement for all Domestic Travel Policy Letter
Travel Restrictions FAQs
CLEANING/DISINFECTION OF OFFICES
As a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings, the 66th MDS 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.
Guidance announced last month:
- Encourage maximum use of telework for employees eligible to do so. This includes allowing telework-eligible employees caring for children because their school or daycare facility has closed to work from home (with conditions).
- Limit all non-mission-essential travel. (See DoD travel guidelines above.)
- Reduce large gatherings and meetings, holding them virtually whenever possible.
In addition, base leaders continue to encourage everyone to take proper personal measures to protect their health, that of their coworkers and families and of the community at large.
** Facilities or services not listed below remain fully operational at this time. **
Please note: Changes may occur rapidly. You may wish to contact facilities directly.
Suspended Until Further Notice: Auto Hobby, Barbershop, FAMCAMP, Hanscom Lanes, Hanscom Pool, Information Learning Center, Movie Theater, Outdoor Recreation, Patriot Golf Course, Signal Stop (Building1305), Judy's and Dino's, STARBASE Academy, Tavern, Tickets & Tours, Youth Programs.
Easter Sunday: The Base Exchange and food court will be closed. The Shoppette/Class 6 and gas station will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
66 ABG Commander Support Staff (CSS): Walk-in service suspended until further notice. Contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAFES (food service): Take out only from Subway and Pizza Mia. Reduced hours at Subway are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
AAFES (Main BX): Open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The souvenir shop is closed.
Aero Club: Suspended until further notice. Private aircraft owners storing aircraft have access according to installation commander and flight line/tower instructions and guidance.
Airman & Family Readiness Center: All non-mission critical workshops are suspended, including Hearts Apart and Installation Mission and Management Brief. Classes for Transition Assistance Program and financial readiness mandatory requirements and others will be virtual or postponed. For virtual non-medical counseling contact the Military Family Life Consultant via e-mail at HanscomAdultMFLC@SRIMFLCTeam.com or by phone at 781-315-7992. For Veteran Benefit Advisor services, contact Larry Clayton at Laurence.Clayton@VA.gov or by phone at 703-687-7989. Casualty and Air Force Aid for critical functions can be reached by contacting the Command Post at 781-225-6960.
Brighton Marine Clinic: Tele-health only appointments available Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 781-863-0102.
Child Development Center (CDC): The installation commander has ordered the Child Development Center to remain closed until further notice. The 66th Force Support Squadron will continue to monitor and evaluate the childcare needs of the community and make any decisions to re-open based on the guidance provided by installation leadership and the Commonwealth. Families will receive advanced notice of any status changes. Mission critical requests for care can be made through the individual’s leadership and unit control center to the crisis action team. For status changes, you may visit the Hanscom Child Development Center Facebook page.
Chapel: There are no gatherings at the chapel until further notice. Individual parishes have given guidance for virtual worship and fellowship. Chaplains continue to provide 100% confidential counseling either virtually or over the phone. Reach a Chaplain anytime by calling 781-953-6913.
Civilian Personnel Office: In-processing conducted virtually.
Commissary: Open Saturday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday closed, Tuesday through Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Comptroller Squadron: Finance walk-in service is suspended until further notice. Email requests to: Civilian Pay: email@example.com; DTS: firstname.lastname@example.org; Military/Travel Pay: email@example.com; Accounting: 66.CPTS.Center.Team@us.af.mil.
Education Center: All testing postponed until May 11. Any previously scheduled testing will be rescheduled via Test Control Officer.
Fitness and Sports Center: Suspended until further notice. All Official Fitness Assessment Testing is suspended until June. For additional guidance, visit Fitness Guidance due to Coronavirus.
Fourth Cliff Recreation Area: Suspended until further notice. New reservations will not be accepted until May 1.
Gas Station: Open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hanscom Conference Center: Existing reservations through May 1 are suspended. New requests can be submitted which will be approved/disapproved on a case-by-case basis.
Honor Guard: On call.
Legal Office: Mission essential only status for assisting deployers and emergency situations related to or caused by COVID-19. For further information or assistance, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 781-225-1410.
Lodging: Reservation hours reduced to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Military Personnel/Customer Service: Reduced office hours only for mission essential CACs are Monday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to noon. For CAC emergencies, call 781-760-1193 on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. Approved retirements and separations are being processed virtually and by appointment only.
Minuteman Commons: Existing reservations suspended until further notice. New requests can be submitted which will be approved/disapproved on a case-by-case basis.
Pharmacy: The Hanscom Clinic Pharmacy hours of operation to 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Shoppette: Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Use of the recycle machines located at the Class Six will be suspended until further notice to reduce the potential for the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
School Age and Youth Center: The installation commander, in accordance with Governor Baker’s emergency order, has extended the suspension of the School Age Care Program and the Youth Center until May 4 in an effort to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. During this time, the 66th Force Support Squadron will continue to monitor and evaluate the childcare needs of the community and make any decisions to re-open based on the guidance provided by installation leadership and the Commonwealth. For status changes, you may also visit the Hanscom Youth Center Facebook page.
** Please click each question to see the response. **
A: 66 LRS central Shipping and Receiving (Cargo Movement Section) is open daily on a limited basis from 9 a.m. to noon. With prior coordination, high priority outbound shipments will be accepted and processed, but on-time delivery is not guaranteed. Inbound shipments will be stored at CMS until final delivery can be coordinated. Door-to-door deliveries will be conducted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the volume of the shipment and with prior coordination.
-- Official mail pickup and delivery must be coordinated with the Official Mail Center (OMC).
-- We understand our customers’ missions must continue and we will work to support your mission to the greatest extent possible. Please send outbound and inbound shipment requests to email@example.com. During weekday duty hours, call the CMS duty cell at 781-760-1880. On weekends between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., contact the 66 ABG CAT at 781-225-1318. After hours, contact the Hanscom Command Post at 781-225-6960.
A: Please refer to the base COVID 19 page at https://www.hanscom.af.mil/Coronavirus/ for details on base access and point of contacts for CAC issuance customer service.
Q: (continued) I am assuming that most aspects of directorates are allowing people to telework, but in those areas where people cannot telework, the Clinic, CE, fire department, and SFS, it would help to put patients/employee/military at ease a bit more if there is visible evidence that the base is trying to do the best that it can to help control infections.
A: The base does not have an emergency fund to increase contracted custodial service. While we continue to consider realigning custodial service frequencies, we are weighing the benefits of increased cleaning with the risks of introducing additional building visits to confined spaces like restrooms where social distancing can be a challenging. As you may be aware, according to the CDC, “Based on what is currently known about the virus, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.“ Nevertheless, last week the custodial contractor began to exclusively use an anti-viral cleaning solution on all surfaces, instead of reserving its use for frequently touched surfaces. Finally, as a side note, neither the clinic or the Fire Department are serviced by the base custodial contractor and both of these critical functions have implemented measures to prevent viral spread without introducing additional risk. We will continue to evaluate risks and benefits of increased custodial service with the health and safety of Hanscom personnel as our top priority.
Q: (continued) The risk of coming in with shifts or a few days a week will only potentially decrease the footprint in the secure area. Common surfaces still have to be touched every time someone comes in and out of the secure area. Not to mention the facility managers and Good Will janitors are not allowed into our actual work space which inhibits it to be cleaned properly. If I choose not to come in due to the health risk I now must take sick leave. While other base employees could easily work from home. I would like to know if there is a better plan for the individuals who work in the secure areas while prioritizing our health concerns.
A: Mission essential services required to meet national security commitments related to U.S. Military operations is on the Massachusetts exempt list. See link and screen shot. There is personal responsibility for folks to wipe down high contact surfaces within their workstations before using common terminals and before departing. We can mitigate but not eliminate all risk. https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-essential-services/download
A: The installation commander has authorized Defense Department civilians who live in base housing and DoD civilians and DoD contractors who are mission essential and working on base to access the commissary and AAFES outlets. This does not authorize purchase of alcohol or tobacco. A signed memorandum is required for access during each visit. Mission essential DoD civilians and DoD contractors who are working on the base can request access through their supervisor and chain of command, which will be submitted through their unit control center (UCC). UCCs submitting requests or individuals in base housing without a local parent organization will email requests to the 66th Force Support Squadron UCC at 66FSS.-.UCC@us.af.mil courtesy copy Senior Master Sgt. Brian Tisdall at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
a. Full Name (first name, middle initial, last name)
b. Organization (e.g., 66 ABG/XP) or “base housing resident”
A: One out-of-state attendee of the New Horizons March 9-11 conference tested positive for the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Hanscom Public Health coordinated with Massachusetts Department of Public Health on the guidance sent out by AFCEA. All attendees should self-monitor for a 14 day period and if you develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, self-quarantine (sick at home) then contact your healthcare provider and advise that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Marriott hotel have been notified. Please visit the CDC website to stay up to date on the latest on the coronavirus - https://www.cdc.gov/.
What you should do:
Bottom Line: Mandatory quarantine at home for 14 days is not required for conference attendees.
A: The base dental clinic is seeing dental patients for emergency situations and to get people downrange only. All routine dental care has been turned off for the clinic and the clinic is following Air Force guidance.
A: Individuals returning from international travel are placed in quarantine to monitor for symptoms for 14 days to protect the base and community. Testing without symptoms is not recommended at this time by the CDC. Hanscom AFB COVID-19 testing is aligned with the CDC and Massachusetts DPH protocols which is risk stratified. As the type of testing and availability increases, strategies and guidance will likely be updated. We continue to monitor this closely to implement any changes.
A: Foreign National (FN) visitors must be identity-proofed, vetted, have a valid need to access the installation, and be issued an installation access credential. This policy encompasses all HAFB assigned and tenant organizations, to include MIT Lincoln Laboratory and Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters. Contact 66 SFS at 781-225-5614 three duty days prior to the arrival of the FN visitor to determine documentation required for the visit and to prevent extended wait times for processing. For further information, contact Security Forces at 781-225-5614.
A: We cannot foresee what circumstances may occur in the future, but movement to essential jobs would certainly be a priority.
A: We would not restrict movement for anyone requiring medical care.
A: Yes, families who are teleworking or have a spouse home and keep their children home from the Child Development Center will not be charged or will receive credit. Those families who children cannot go to the School Age program will also receive credit since it is closed.
A: If the prescription is activated via TRICARE Online the prescription will be ready for pick up in three duty days. If it is activated via the Pharmacy Line, pharmacy staff will let them know when it will be ready. You do not need to make an appointment to pick up prescriptions.
Visit for a list of archived questions: https://www.hanscom.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/2127502/covid-19-qa-archive/.
Civilian employees and contractors should contact their primary care physicians with health-related questions and concerns.
Active-duty military members, dependents and others 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. Additional information is available at the 66th Medical Squadron Facebook page.
The Hanscom Clinic Pharmacy hours of operation to 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For additional questions or concerns, contact the 66th Air Base Group Public Health office at 781-225-6295.
World Health Organization
Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
What the Government is Doing
Air Force Response
Hanscom AFB Facebook Page
Memo to Contractors
COVID-19 HFCU Member Notice
TRICARE COVID-19 Toolkit
HR Flexibilities Guidance
DCPAS Emergency Preparedness
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: