The Bandit Lanes Bowling Alley is closed. The snack bar is open for carry out only, and is only serving breakfast and lunch.
The Dakota's Community Center is closed. The restaurant is open for carry out only, and is only serving dinner.
While COVID-19 is not present on Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, the deterrence mission continues. The 28th Bomb Wing is prepared to continue to meet and exceed mission objectives, with some changes to procedures.
The Bellamy Fitness Center is closed to all patrons.
This is an ongoing situation and Ellsworth leadership will continue to push updated information via our base website at www.ellsworth.af.mil/, the 28th Bomb Wing Air Force Connect app and Ellsworth Air Force Base's Facebook Page.
Please be aware of new COVID-19 Security Forces Precautions to be enforced to protect defenders and personnel.
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:
For more information to protect yourself, friends and family from unknowingly spreading diseases, visit the CDC website here.
Department of Defense Issues Guidelines to Personnel on Coronavirus
We encourage all DOD personnel to refer to the guidance below, as well as the CDC guidance, and take precautions to stay healthy. Information from the Department of State can be found here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/novel-coronavirus-hubei-province--china.html
Supplement 1 (Jan. 30, 2020): Force Health Protection Guidance for the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak
Supplement 2 (Feb. 25, 2020): Force Health Protection Guidance for Commanders' Risk-Based Measured Responses
For more DOD-related guidance on the Coronavirus, visit: https://health.mil/News/In-the-Spotlight/coronavirus
This information is directly pulled from the CDC COVID-19 What You Need To Know information sheet. For more information, visit the CDC website.
Q1: What is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China.
Q2: Can people in the U.S. get COVID-19?
COVID-19 is spreading from person to person in China, and limited spread among close contacts has been detected in some countries outside China, including the United States. At this time, however, this virus is NOT currently spreading in communities in the United States. Right now, the greatest risk of infection is for people in China or people who have traveled to China. Risk of infection is dependent on exposure. Close contacts of people who are infected are at greater risk of exposure, for example health care workers and close contacts of people who are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. CDC continues to closely monitor the situation.
Q3: Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s webpage at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html.
Q4: How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 probably emerged from an animal source, but now it seems to be spreading from person to person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some diseases are highly contagious (like measles), while other diseases are less so. At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html.
Q5: What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
Q6: What are severe complications from this virus?
Many patients have pneumonia in both lungs.
Q7: How can I help protect myself?
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Q8: There are simple everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses. These include:
Q9: If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
Q10: What should I do if I recently traveled to China and got sick?
If you were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, you should seek medical care. Call the office of your health care provider before you go, and tell them about your travel and your symptoms. They will give you instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness. While sick, avoid contact with people, don’t go out and delay any travel to reduce the possibility of spreading illness to others.
Q11: Is there a vaccine?
There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Q12: Is there a treatment?
There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19. People with COVID-19 can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.
This information is directly pulled from the DCPAS Civilian Employee information sheet. More Department of Defense information for civilian personnel can be found on their website, listed here.
Q01: What is the difference between using sick leave for exposure to a quarantinable communicable disease and exposure to seasonal influenza? If everyone is getting sick at work can I just take sick leave to avoid being exposed?
A1: An employee may use sick leave for exposure to quarantinable communicable diseases and seasonal influenza only in certain circumstances —
Q02: What are examples of quarantinable communicable diseases?
A2: Sick leave for exposure to a quarantinable communicable disease would only arise in cases of a quarantinable communicable disease. Agencies should refer to the list of quarantinable communicable diseases, which are defined by Executive Order 13295 as amended. See also CDC's Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/aboutlawsregulationsquarantineisolation.html.
Q03. Can agencies grant sick leave for exposure to a quarantinable communicable disease?
A3: A symptomatic employee is entitled to use an unlimited amount of accrued sick leave when he or she is unable to perform due to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), is entitled to use his or her accrued sick leave. Sick Leave for Personal Needs fact sheet: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/payleave/leaveadministration/fact-sheets/personal-sick-leave/
Q04: Can an employee who is healthy and opts to stay at home to provide care for a family member infected with a quarantinable communicable disease such as COVID-19 use sick leave?
A4: An employee is entitled to use a total of up to 104 hours (13 days) of sick leave each leave year to provide care for a family member who is ill or receiving medical examination or treatment. If an employee’s family member is symptomatic (ill) due to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19, the employee may use his or her accrued sick leave for general family care. The amount of sick leave permitted for family care purposes is proportionally adjusted for part-time employees and employees with uncommon tours of duty in accordance with the average number of hours of work in the employee’s regularly scheduled administrative workweek. Sick Leave for Family Care fact sheet: https://www.opm.gov/policydata-oversight/payleave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/sick-leave-for-family-care-orbereavement-purposes/
Q05: Can an employee requests sick leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition?
A05: An employee is entitled to use up to 12 weeks (480 hours) of sick leave each leave year to care for a family member with a serious health condition. If an employee has already used 13 days of sick leave for general family care (discussed above), the 13 days must be subtracted from the 12 weeks. If an employee has already used 12 weeks of sick leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition, he or she cannot use an additional 13 days in the same leave year for general 3 family care purposes. An employee is entitled to no more than a combined total of 12 weeks of sick leave each leave year for all family care purposes. If an employee’s family member is symptomatic (ill) due to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19, that would generally constitute a serious health condition, which would allow use of up to 12 weeks of an employee’s accrued sick leave to care for that family member. The amount of sick leave permitted for family care purposes is proportionally adjusted for parttime employees and employees with uncommon tours of duty in accordance with the average number of hours of work in the employee’s regularly scheduled administrative workweek. Sick Leave to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition fact sheet: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leave-administration/factsheets/sickleave-to-care-for-a-family-member-with-a-serious-health-condition/
Q06: Can an employee invoke his or her entitlement to use the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for a family member with a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19?
A6: An employee may invoke his or her entitlement to unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 in appropriate circumstances. Under FMLA, an employee is entitled to a total of up to 12 workweeks of leave without pay for a serious health condition that prevents an employee from performing his or her duties or to care for a spouse, son or daughter, or parent with a serious health condition. An employee may substitute his or her accrued annual and/or sick leave for unpaid leave in accordance with current laws and regulations governing the use of annual and sick leave. An employee or family member who contracts a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19, and becomes ill would generally be considered to have a qualifying serious health condition. Family and Medical Leave fact sheet: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/payleave/leave-administration/fact-sheets/familyand-medical-leave/
Q07: When an employee has exhausted all of his or her annual or sick leave may they be granted leave without pay?
A7: If an employee has exhausted his or her available annual or sick leave and other forms of paid time off, he or she may request leave without pay (LWOP). LWOP is a temporary non-pay status and absence from duty that, in most cases, is granted at the employee's request. In most instances, granting LWOP is a matter of supervisory discretion and may be limited by agency internal policy. While FMLA leave is limited to specific purposes, LWOP may be granted for any reason approved by the agency. In situations where LWOP is taken for a 4 purpose that would qualify under FMLA, granting LWOP without requiring the employee to invoke FMLA will preserve the employee’s entitlement to 12 weeks of FMLA leave. An extended period of LWOP may have an effect on an employee’s benefits including health benefits, retirement benefits, and life insurance. Leave Without Pay fact sheet: (http://www.opm.gov/policy-dataoversight/pay-leave/leaveadministration/fact-sheets/leave-without-pay) Effect of Extended Leave Without Pay (or Other Nonpay Status) on Federal Benefits and Programs fact sheet: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/leaveadministration/fact-sheets/effect-ofextended-leave-without-pay-lwop-or-other-nonpay-statuson-federal-benefits-and-programs/
Q08: Can an employee with a medical emergency related to COVID-19 participate in the leave Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLPT)?
A8. If an employee has a personal or family medical emergency related to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19, and is absent (or expected to be absent) from duty without available paid leave for at least 24 work hours, he or she may qualify to receive donated annual leave under the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP) or Voluntary Leave Bank Program (VLBP).
Q09: Does the employee need a telework agreement before he or she can telework?
A9: Yes, the Telework Enhancement Act requires every employee who participates in telework to have a written agreement, regardless of the type of telework. The Federal Government uses telework, among other things, to promote continuity of operations by allowing Federal employees to continue their work at an approved alternative worksite. The Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 defines “telework” or “teleworking” as a work flexibility arrangement under which an employee performs the duties and responsibilities of his or her position, and other authorized activities, from an approved worksite other than the location from which the employee would otherwise work. Telework is a critical tool during emergency situations. OPM has strongly encouraged agencies to maintain a viable telework-ready workforce. This requires determining eligibility for employees to telework, encouraging employees to enter into written telework agreements, communicating expectations before an emergency situation occurs, and practicing and testing equipment and procedures regularly throughout the year, not just teleworking during emergencies that may occur infrequently. Telework arrangements may require collective bargaining obligations for employees represented by labor organizations. Agencies also need to implement and maintain a robust information technology system with the necessary infrastructure to accommodate widespread remote usage of agency systems as well as the accompanying technical support personnel to resolve remote connectivity issues. Agencies should maximize their telework capacity by entering into telework agreements with as many telework-eligible employees as possible and by conducting exercises to test employees’ ability to access agency networks from home. Managers should ensure that there are effective processes in place for communicating efficiently with employees who are teleworking. For additional information on telework, please see www.telework.gov.
Q10: Is telework voluntary?
A10: Yes. An agency may not compel an employee to telework, even if the duties of the position make that employee "telework eligible." However, although entering into a telework arrangement is voluntary, once the employee is under such an arrangement, he/she may be required to telework outside of his/ her normal telework schedule in the case of a temporary emergency situation if that understanding has been clearly communicated by the agency to the teleworking employee in the written telework agreement.
Q11: Can an agency force an employee to telework?
A11: No. The language of the Telework Enhancement Act supports that telework is a voluntary flexibility. In other words, an agency may not compel an employee to telework even if the duties of the position make that employee "telework eligible." However, although entering into a telework arrangement is voluntary, once the employee is under such an arrangement, he/she may be required to telework outside of his/her normal work schedule in the case of a temporary emergency situation if that understanding has been clearly communicated by the agency to the teleworking employee in the written telework agreement.
Q12: If the employee has a telework agreement in place and the manager requires them to telework during controlled monitoring period, does the employee have the option to refuse to telework?
A12: Yes. The employee will have the option to use leave flexibilities to such as annual leave, advanced leave, etc.
Q13: Is an employee eligible for Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) payments if he or she contracts COVID-19, either directly or from a coworker?
A13: If an employee believes his or her illness resulted from a work-related incident, the employee can file workers’ compensation claim under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). Employees with a medical condition covered by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) will receive FECA benefits. FECA benefits are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, and each case will be judged on its own merit.
Q14: If quarantined, will my Federal benefits such as Health and Life Insurance, TSP, Flexible Spending, etc. continue?
A14: Benefits for Federal employees and eligible family members remain unchanged during periods of quarantine or any emergency situation.
Q15: During the quarantine period, who is my point of contact for benefits related questions, such as Open Season elections, TSP loans, interruption of pay, etc.?
A15: Employees may contact their respective agency benefits offices.
Q16: If I chose civilian controlled monitoring, will my family members receive treatment if they began to exhibit COVID-19-like symptoms?
A16: Family members with COVID-19-like symptoms will be subject to Federal Health Benefits Insurance and other private Insurance requirements, and should contact their local health care facility for treatment.
Q17: Can U.S. health insurance companies or health plans cancel or non-renewing health policies for people who contract COVID-19?
A17: Generally, the answer is no. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, reaffirmed by the Affordable Care Act, requires that individuals must remain eligible and have their coverage renewed without regard to their particular health or travel circumstances. This applies to church plans and U.S. sold expatriate group plans.
Q18: What are the protections for a medical worker who takes a leave of absence from a job, accepts temporary or foreign medical insurance, and returns to their job. Can they be denied their job-based health coverage due to contracting COVID-19?
A18: No. Generally, individuals who take leaves of absence from their jobs and return to those jobs are equally eligible for their employer-sponsored insurance as other workers.
Has someone from "Tricare" called, offering to provide you with coronavirus testing kits? It's time to report the call to the system's fraud and abuse section.
That's the warning issued early Thursday by Tricare officials. Scammers, according to a news release, may say they are offering testing kits for the novel coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, but they're actually collecting beneficiaries' personal information, including credit cards and Social Security numbers.
"The scam involves direct calls to beneficiaries with an offer to ship or sell COVID-19 testing kits. The calls include requests for personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank or credit card information," the release states. "Beneficiaries should avoid any solicitation regarding a COVID-19 test kit by anyone other than their attending physician."
Any calls about selling or shipping coronavirus testing kits should be reported right away to Tricare's fraud and abuse section, the release states. The only way for Tricare users to get tested for the virus is through a physician's order.
The testing kit scam isn't the first associated with the current pandemic. White House officials issued warnings mid-March that rumors spread by text message about a national quarantine are fake.
"Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE," according to a March 15 tweet posted on the Twitter page of the National Security Council. "There is no national lockdown."
Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) in a news release also cautioned against "phishing campaigns that prey on would-be victims' fear, while others capitalize on the opportunity created by hot topics in the news cycle."
Current restricted travel information can be found on the CDC website here, or on the Dept. of State travel site here.
Medical Appointments: (605) 385-6700
Public Health: (605) 385-3383
TRICARE Service: 1 (800) 988-9378
24hr Nurse Advice Line: 1 (800) 874-2273
TRICARE Nurse Advice Line