UPDATED COVID-19 MASK USE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ORDER - MAY 14, 2021
Based on trends and recommendations from Public Health, we have transitioned to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) BRAVO+ effective Wednesday, Feb. 10. This pandemic requires us to navigate a delicate balance of mission, protection, and resilience.
HPCON ALPHA: What does this mean for Team Robins and our families?
There is a limited threat to personnel based on the existence of a disease or unusual human health threat that has the potential to rapidly move into the local area. As such, social distancing, hygiene, masks, vaccination and cleaning behaviors remain critical as we live and operate at Robins AFB. Please communicate continued critical components of HPCON ALPHA for execution within our units and facilities as follows:
For the latest updates, please go to the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus website at:
For local information, visit:
78th Medical Group Facebook page:
The 78 MDG/Public Health recommends that any individual with flu like symptoms (listed below) stay home and not attend school/work to help prevent the spread of any sickness. Additionally, please ensure proper precautions are used such as social distancing, hand washing, and proper cough etiquette. Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
You can access the full list of symptoms on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. If you are normally seen at Robins 78th Medical Group, please first call the TRICARE nurse advice line at 1-800-874-2273 or the 78MDG appointment line at 478-327-7850 prior to the visit. If you are normally seen by an off base provider, please first call the Georgia Department of Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584) prior to your visit.
As we continue to update the public we want to keep you abreast that there are multiple viruses which may cause the symptoms of:
The most common is the rhinovirus, which is thought to be responsible for at least 50% of common colds. Other viruses that can cause colds include coronavirus (typical) not COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza and parainfluenza.
The COVID-19 has been found to have three common symptoms: fever, cough and shortness of breath. The travel history is also very important.
Is getting the COVID-19 vaccine safe?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets strict standards for vaccine clinical trials to be conducted with thousands of study participants. Scientific data and other information from these trials are used by the FDA to determine if the vaccine is safe and effective. If the standards are met, the FDA can make the vaccine available for use in the US by approval or through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). A committee composed of medical and public health experts also reviews the data before making recommendations to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These efforts are to ensure individuals receive a safe and effective vaccine.
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
The FDA has approved an EUA for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to be used on individuals 16 years of age and older. The two-dose regimen, given 21 days apart, is 95% effective in providing immunity; however, data on how long the immunity lasts are currently not available. It’s important to note previously infected individuals can benefit from vaccination due to the risk of COVID-19 reinfection once immunity wanes after 90 days.
MODERNA COVID-19 vaccine
The FDA has approved an EUA for the MODERNA COVID-19 vaccine to be used on individuals 18 years of age and older. The two-dose regimen, given 28 days apart, is 95% effective in providing immunity; however, data on how long the immunity lasts are currently not available. It’s important to note previously infected individuals can benefit from vaccination due to the risk of COVID-19 reinfection once immunity wanes after 90 days.
There are no data available on if both the Pfizer and MODERNA vaccines can be interchanged to complete the vaccination series. It’s strongly advised if you receive the first dose from either manufacturer to receive the second dose from the same manufacturer.
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine at the same time?
For individuals planning on receiving the influenza vaccine, it is highly encouraged they receive the influenza vaccine as soon as possible in order to avoid interfering with the COVID-19 vaccine, which should not be received 14 days before or after receiving any type vaccine.
Additional information about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits.html.
The U.K. SARS-CoV-2 variant
The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed cases of the U.K. variant have been identified in Georgia. No other COVID-19 variants have been identified in Georgia. According to the CDC, this variant is associated with increased transmissibility and scientists from the UK reported it “may be associated with an increased risk of death compared with other variants.” The CDC is investigating if the currently authorized vaccines are effective at providing immunity to the U.K. variant. So far, studies have shown our immune systems still recognize the variant; however, more studies are being conducted to obtain more information. Please continue to be vigilant by preventing your exposure to the virus. CDC recommendations on how to protect yourself can be found here: How to Protect Yourself and Others
When to use a mask
According to the CDC, cloth face coverings are an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings. These face coverings are used to help protect others in case you’re infected, but don’t have symptoms. To wear a face covering correctly, it should be placed both over your nose and mouth and secured under your chin. Additional information can be found at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html.
Current: Feb. 19, 2021
Individuals in quarantine may have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 due to contact with infected people and are not yet symptomatic.
The installation commander has required all close contacts of a COVID-19 positive individual to undergo a 10-day quarantine. Individuals in quarantine should follow the steps below:
Following the end of your 10-day quarantine, please continue to self-monitor for an additional four days for possible symptoms. If you are asymptomatic at the end of your quarantine period, you can return to work. If you develop a fever or begin to have any signs/symptoms stated above at any time during those 14 days (quarantine + self-monitoring time), please call one of the following numbers to seek medical care:
Individuals should also call their unit leadership after calling their healthcare providers.
Current: Dec. 31, 2020
Individuals in isolation should follow the instructions in the Quarantine Self-Monitoring Guide above and instructions recommended by the CDC in the link provided.
CDC Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfection can be found at the link below.
For an individual that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and isolating at home, they should follow the guidance below.
Discontinuing home isolation
Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms must remain under home isolation precautions until:
Persons who have not had COVID-19 symptoms but tested positive must remain under home isolation precautions until:
Additional guidance can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/disposition-in-home-patients.html.
For current information on CDC Travel Health Notices, please visit https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.
The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. For travel advisories, please check https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/
Effective until further notice, for all travel, including mission essential, PCS, TDY, or other circumstances, all non-essential travel throughout designated locations will cease for 60 days.
Those approved to travel outside of Italy must comply with directives listed in the DoD Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG), which can be found at: https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm
Since 2/20/2020, several countries have updated their FCGs; members should review the FCG for changes prior to traveling.
The FCG provides necessary information for aircraft international mission planning and execution, personnel travel to foreign countries, as well as general information on foreign locations. The FCG main page also has information regarding Coronavirus 2019 travel considerations.
Airman and Family Readiness Center
78 MDG Mental Health, Family Advocacy, and ADAPT Services
Chaplain Corps Team
Adult Military and Family Life Counselors (MFLC) and Child & Behavior (CYB) MFLC:
Air Force Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Civilian Health Promotion Services (CHPS)
Health Promotions / Dietitian
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Office
School Liaison Office:
Equal Opportunity (EO) Office:
Air Force Aid Society
Suicide Prevention Hotline
78th Medical Group
Georgia Department of Health
In addition our Middle Georgia community and businesses are actively identifying needs and resources in response to our current situation.
**If you have an emergency and need to speak with a mental health provider or chaplain during off-duty hours, please call the Robins Command Post at 478-327-2612.
COVID-19 Support Agency Resources
COVID-19 Food Support Resources Guide
Robins Air Force Base Updates
There is a plan on who should be tested case by case. We are following the CDC recommendations. We do have testing available, especially to rule out the other, more common respiratory illnesses, like the flu.
Yes, the virus can be transmitted both during the incubation period (incubation range 2-14 days per CDC) and while symptoms have been exhibited. Information is continually updating about the spread of the virus. Updates will be posted as new information is acquired.
This is not mandated nor clinically indicated as necessary at this time per CDC and local public health recommendations. Depending on one's personal situation, they can leave the area/fly home, but only at their preference.
Yes, face masks should be worn when out in public, within 6 feet of individuals, or upon entering facilities requiring the wear of a face mask. Face masks are used to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others if you have symptoms, or if you’re infected and don’t have symptoms. Currently, there is no CDC guidance on wearing gloves as a preventive measure. CDC guidance on how to properly wear a mask can be found under the “Protect Yourself” section of this webpage. As the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread by respiratory droplets, another way to prevent spread is by coughing or sneezing into your elbow. It is a community effort to prevent the spread of any respiratory disease. Only you can prevent infections. If you feel symptomatic, please first call the TRICARE nurse advice line at 1-800-874-2273 or the 78 MDG appointment line at 478-327-7850 prior to the visit. If you are normally seen by an off base provider, please first call the Georgia Department of Health at 1-866-PUB HLTH (1-866-782-4584) prior to your visit.
Not many more specifics, only to be cautious and try to limit exposure to sick individuals, much like you would do during any normal cold/flu season.
Children don't seem to get as affected by the virus as the elderly do. Every kid is different so it is difficult to say exactly what symptoms an asthmatic will get or how severe it might be. If a child with asthma or respiratory problems ever develops symptoms, then call the nurse advice line or your doctor.
The Nurse Advice Line or the Primary Care Manager should be called if you are concerned about symptoms. They will provide instructions based on screening.
It is much more likely to spread by someone who is actively sick (coughing, sneezing etc.) However, it can be spread by someone before they have any signs or symptoms, but this is not thought to be the primary way it is spreads.
We are always prepped and ready to respond to keep our community safe and healthy. As military public health professionals will follow what's called a 'disease containment plan'. Different protocols are in place depending on the type and severity of a disease.
The likelihood is LOW as long as personnel and families due their due diligence to self-quarantine or isolate themselves if symptomatic. If personnel or families are having symptoms it is prudent that they contact their health care provider and Public Health (either 78 MDG Public Health or Georgia Department of Health – North Central Health District) for screening to have review of the situation which may warrant continued quarantine and isolation.
a) being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more; close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
– or –
b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on).
No, 78 MDG Public Health will not release case information to include residential address to the public. To do so would be a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191.
No. Being tested means the patient met the criteria for testing and will be informed of their results by his/her healthcare provider.
No, Public Health does not need to come to the building to assess cleaning and clear the building for operation.
The below CDC link will provide you and your team the appropriate cleaning guidelines for facilities.https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-building-facility.html
Once an office area/building has been cleaned, facility manager(s) should inform PH that the area has been cleaned.
Leadership is currently examining duty hours across the installation with a focus on protecting the most vulnerable, high-risk individuals from COVID-19, while balancing the execution of the mission.
Leadership is currently scrutinizing established duty hours across the installation with a focus on protecting the most vulnerable, high-risk individuals from COVID-19, while balancing the execution of the mission.
Leadership is currently scrutinizing established duty hours across the installation with a focus on protecting the most vulnerable, high-risk individuals from COVID-19, while balancing the execution of the mission. In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and adhere to Force Health Protection guidelines, leadership is sending high-risk Team Robins members home on Weather and Safety Leave. Weather and Safety Leave is paid leave permitted during emergencies.
Health Protection Measures apply to all members of Team Robins. The current HPCON level and measures are listed under the Robins current situation at www.robins.af.mil/coronavirus. This page also has good guidance for how you take care of yourself at home in quarantine. We’re a team at Robins and need to hold each other accountable for the Health Protection Conditions we have, which will allow all of us to accomplish the mission for our Nation.
There has not been any official guidance or direction regarding eliminating overtime. For the latest information on this subject during the pandemic, refer to the Master Labor Agreement and the Office of Personnel Management website at www.opm.gov.
Col. Moore, Col. Stephens, and Chief Wieser believe face-to-face interaction is the most effective way to communicate. Since becoming commander, Col. Moore made it a priority to get out and visit Team Robins. Since we are operating in elevated HPCONs and adhering to social distancing, it wouldn’t be prudent for them to make their rounds at this time. That’s why they have been using social media tools, such as Facebook, to communicate with the workforce. Col. Moore would like to take this opportunity to thank Team Robins for your continued service. Your service here, in this capacity, is protecting our country, your families and our freedoms by creating the stability our country needs. And, it’s protecting Robins AFB. We need to “flatten the curve.” We need to make sure we’re addressing this formidable adversary with the right tactics, techniques and procedures to win. Col. Moore asks for everybody to hold each other accountable for those Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures and Health Protection Conditions, which will allow us to accomplish our critical mission for the Nation.
Yes. DoD Components may initiate a change in work schedule to allow its workforce to work shifts as a means to mitigate community transmission of COVID-19. In doing so, DoD Components should consult with their human resources office to evaluate entitlements to premium pay (e.g. night pay), scheduled and unscheduled overtime, and other compensation requirements. A change to shift work may also need to be adjusted in the Component’s time and attendance system. Additionally, a change in work schedules may require the DoD Components to bargain with its labor unions, if applicable.
During an emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, a type of administrative paid leave is authorized, called Weather and Safety Leave. During this health crisis, it’s important for individuals to check with their supervisor and/or chain of command regarding issues such as administrative leave.
A DoD Component may authorize Weather and Safety Leave to a civilian employee under the following circumstances:
Weather and Safety Leave is not an entitlement and must be approved by a supervisor.
Depending on the type of leave, a supervisor can deny or cancel leave to a civilian who is traveling outside the local commuting area based on mission requirements. A supervisor may not deny personal leave solely because an employee is traveling outside of the local commuting area or to a CDC-designated level 2 or 3 area.
No. Civilian employees may only take sick leave when they are ill or to care for a family member as prescribed under the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) sick leave regulations. For additional information on the appropriate use of sick leave and other leave flexibilities, please review the memorandum published by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness, “Civilian Personnel Guidance for DoD Components,” March 8, 2020.
Yes. A supervisor can order employees who are identified as emergency essential to the official worksite if the installation or office is generally closed. Normally, the supervisor should identify and inform the employees in advance that they occupy positions that have been identified as emergency essential and that they may need to return to the official worksite to carry out mission critical functions of the DoD Component.
Supervisors should identify whether the employee is telework-ready and offer the employee the option to telework. If the employee is not telework-ready because, for example, they cannot perform their duties at an alternate location, then the supervisor should consider utilizing Weather and Safety Leave (please review the section below on the appropriate use of Weather and Safety Leave), administrative leave, or other leave flexibilities (paid or unpaid) available. DoD Components may also combine telework and various leave flexibilities when the employee may perform some of his or her duties at an alternate worksite.
Additionally, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memorandum, “Updated Guidance on Telework Flexibilities in Response to Coronavirus,” dated March 12, 2020, encourages supervisors to extend telework flexibilities broadly to accommodate state and local responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, particularly to those persons susceptible to COVID-19.
In rare cases, an employee may not have a telework agreement or wish not to telework. See Question 8 below for information on when an agency may order an employee to telework.
Additionally, Civilian personnel returning from locations identified by the CDC as Level 2 or 3 are strongly recommended to follow the procedures identified in DoD’s Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 4). Please see Question 2 under Travel: OCONUS below. See also Question 10 from the DoD FAQ – Travel Restrictions.
Civilian personnel may telework even when a child or dependent requiring supervision is present at the alternative work site. DoD granted a temporary waiver of policy until December 31, 2020, to allow employees to telework in this situation, and encourages DoD Components to make similar adjustments to their policies. Where an employee is teleworking and providing care to a child or dependent during duty hours, the employees must account for this time using appropriate leave as approved by his or her supervisor. For example, an employee who feeds and supervises a young child multiple times during the day will need to take leave or, if on a flexible work schedule, adjust his or her hours. The OMB memorandum noted above encourages supervisors to extend telework flexibilities more broadly to accommodate state and local responses to the outbreak, including, but not limited to, school closures.
DoD Components may also authorize alternative work schedules that allow employees to complete their tour of duty in less than 10 days if applicable. For example, a maxiflex schedule would allow an employee to meet his or her basic work requirement for a biweekly pay period on fewer than 10 days and vary the number of hours worked on a given workday. Note that changes to alternative work schedules is subject to collective bargaining.
Additional tools available to Components include advance annual leave, compensatory time, credit hours, and other leave flexibilities. Weather and safety leave would not be appropriate under these facts alone.
Situational Telework (TS) is the type of telework to be coded for Time and Attendance purposes.
Yes, under the following scenarios an agency may order an employee to telework whether or not the position is telework eligible or the employee voluntarily enters into a telework agreement:
If the employee’s telework agreement does not include an option for the supervisor to direct the employee to telework, then the supervisor may only direct an employee to telework under the following situations:
DoD Components are strongly discouraged to allow such travel and limit travel when there is an urgent need (e.g., protection of life and property). DoD Components should also consider the latest guidance from the CDC and local health authorities when limiting travel to persons at higher risk to COVID-19.
DoD Components should review the CDC's website Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the U.S., and information published by their state and local public health authorities. The CDC website contains links embedded in the map of the U.S. to all state public health authorities.
Civilian personnel returning from locations identified by the CDC as Level 2 or 3 are strongly recommended to follow the procedures identified in DoD’s Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 4). Employees should notify their supervisors or chain of command and seek medical advice if they get sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Supervisors should consider placing the employee on telework, and/or any appropriate leave flexibility. Please refer above to Question 2 under Telework.
We are currently offering the Moderna vaccine here on base. This vaccine has been approved for anyone 18 years or older. Anyone with base access can schedule their appointment at https://78mdg.simplybook.plus. Upon receiving your first dose, you will automatically be scheduled to receive your second dose 28 days later.
We do not have any reported cases of severe allergic reactions to the vaccine thus far. Some individuals have had minor allergic reactions to the vaccine and are then asked to wait an additional 30 minutes upon receiving their second dose for increased monitoring. Our providers are available at the vaccination site to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about the possibility of anaphylaxis during your appointment.
You should follow the most current Installation CDC guidelines in terms of when and where to practice COVID-19 safety precautions such as mask wear, social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Installation Policy
We do not yet have data to prove it one way or the other. What we do know is that these two vaccines have some protection against the currently circulating variants. The vaccines will help protect you from getting COVID-19. If you still get infected after vaccination, the vaccine may prevent serious illness. By getting vaccinated, you can also help protect people around you.
Currently authorized vaccines, and most vaccines under development, require two doses of vaccine. The first dose helps the immune system recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. You need both to get the best protection. While it is highly recommended to stick to the 28 day timeline, there is some wiggle room to receive the Moderna vaccine second dose as early as the 24th day and as late as the 42nd day.
It is recommended to separate this vaccine from any other routine vaccines by 14 days.
The safety and efficacy of a mixed-product series have not been evaluated. Both doses of the series should be completed with the same product.
All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns. CDC and the FDA will keep monitoring the vaccines to look for safety issues after they are authorized and in use.
All recipients who receive the vaccine are encouraged to enroll inv-safe. V-safe is a new voluntary smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to check in with people who have been vaccinated to identify potential side effects after COVID-19 vaccination. V-safe asks questions that help CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. V-safe also provides second-dose reminders if needed and live telephone follow-up by CDC if participants report a significant health impact following COVID-19 vaccination. For more information on how to sign up, visit: www.cdc.gov/vsafe.
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use or in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. However, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible you could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick.
Yes. COVID-19 vaccination is especially important for people with underlying health problems like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, and obesity. People with these conditions are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19.
Yes. CDC recommends that you get vaccinated even if you have already had COVID-19, because you can catch it more than once. While you may have some short-term antibody protection after recovering from COVID-19, we don’t know how long this protection will last.
Ninety days after treatment. Based on the estimated half-life of monoclonal antibodies or convalescent plasma as part of COVID-19 treatment, as well as evidence suggesting that reinfection is uncommon in the 90 days after initial infection, delaying vaccination for 90 days is a precautionary measure until additional information becomes available, to avoid interference of the antibody treatment with vaccine-induced immune responses.
Yes, pursuant to the DoD phased schema, anyone with base access is eligible to receive the vaccine at the military treatment facility here at Robins AFB.
No, you can receive your vaccine at any site that has availability to give it to you. If you are a military member, please ensure you provide documentation of your vaccine to your MTF’s immunizations department.
Yes, you may be monitored more closely after vaccination for any reactions.
Yes, if you have access to base, you can receive this vaccine from the78th Medical Group pursuant to the DoD phased schema.
Yes, if you have access to base, you can receive this vaccine from the MTF pursuant to the DoD phased schema.
Robins AFB CYES School Liaison Facebook
TRICARE Nurse Advice Line 1-800-874-2273
Georgia Department of Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584)
Robins AFB Facebook
78 ABW Telework Checklist
78 ABW Telework Setup Guide
Personal Computer Email Guide
This is only guidance for authorized teleworking employees. Please follow your organization’s direction and policy regarding telework.