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COVID-19

Last updated: 1 April 2020 at 4 p.m. MST

COVID-19 UPDATES

Effective immediately:

  • The Defense Commissary Agency’s (DeCA) stores, central distribution centers and its central meat processing plant have been designated mission-critical in DOD’s response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. This means the Commissary will remain open as we move forward through the COVID-19 pandemic. For the full release, click here
  • The Commissary is no longer allowing customers to bring in reusable grocery bags as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, effective 31 March. 
  • Individuals traveling from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are restricted from movement for 14 days. This means they are required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to Ellsworth AFB.  
  • When on leave, military members are now restricted to the place where you live and commute to and from your duty station.  In other words, you may leave your home, but you are expected to restrict your travels to the immediate local area.
  • All active-duty personnel assigned to Ellsworth AFB are to refrain from entering any off base business establishment for any reason other than essential activities. Essential activities are defined as those that provide basic needs such as carryout food service, grocery shopping, fueling vehicles, and attending to medical needs.
  • While on pass status (defined as weekends and regularly scheduled non-duty hours during the week), you are required to be within one hour of your primary residence at all times.
  • Regardless of whether you are on leave, on pass or on-duty, you are directed to restrict your travel to the maximum extent possible.  This means you should restrict yourself to necessary trips to establishments supplying basic needs (food, gas, water, etc.), and avoid locations where 10+ people are expected to congregate without the ability to follow social distancing rules of engagement.
  • Although they cannot be ordered to do so, DoD civilian employees, contractor personnel and family members are all strongly recommended to restrict personal travel to their local area and follow DoD travel guidance.
  • The Commissary is open to Active Duty and Dependents only for the first two hours of operation. The Commissary will become available at 11 a.m. to all other customers.
  • The Bellamy Fitness Center is closed until further notice.
  • The CDC and Youth Center are screening kids. Those exhibiting 100.4 temps or higher will not be accepted. Additionally, the CDC and Youth Center are only providing childcare to children whose parents are actively working on the installation. Individuals who are teleworking are not authorized to bring their children to the CDC or Youth Center. 
  • The Holbrook Library is closed.
  • The Prairie Ridge Golf Course is closed. The restaurant is open for carry out only.
  • 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. 

THINGS TO KNOW FOR COVID-19 PROCEDURES AT ELLSWORTH

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.

  • Ellsworth leadership is continually monitoring the situation and working closely with the South Dakota Department of Health to coordinate prevention and response efforts in the local area. People experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever and coughing, should call TRICARE's 24-hour Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273. The 28th Medical Group has stood up a single-point entrance at the clinic, as preventative screening for COVID-19. The Medical Group is open for two distinct periods of service. From opening to 12:30 p.m., will conduct routine, non-respiratory related care and pharmacy services. From 1 to 4:30 p.m., the clinic will take more high-risk appointments and services to include COVID-19 Screenings.
  • Proper hygiene procedures and preventative measures, like hand washing, are critical to preventing the spread of viruses and maintaining 100 percent mission readiness. Measures are in place to protect personnel and continue mission accomplishment. The military community is resilient, in good health and has a physically-strong population, which assists in reducing the spread.
  • Force Health Protection, HPCON, is a top priority. Installation personnel and their families will be provided with up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of the virus, as well as any impact to local activities. Information can be found on Ellsworth's Facebook Page.
  • All Department of Air Force personnel are encouraged to follow Force Health Protection and CDC guidance to avoid contracting or spreading respiratory illnesses. Contingency plans are in place to educate and safeguard military, civilian personnel and their family members in preventing a wide-spread outbreak.
  • Inbound service members and families coming from a country with HPCON Level 2 or 3 Travel Health Notices, as determined by the CDC, must reach out to their losing unit's commander, superintendent or first sergeant prior to departure.
  • Upon entry to the base, members should hold their ID card, showing the barcode on the back side to the Security Forces gate guard. The guard will scan members in before continuing on to the base. This new process will help reduce the amount of contact between persons.
  • Social distancing is highly recommended by the CDC, which means maintaining a 'six-foot rule' of distance from others. Unit commanders have the ability to implement existing telework agreements, alternate work schedules, or create new telework agreements.
  • With official travel restrictions changing daily, the Secretary of Defense placed a 'stop movement' order to and from HPCON Level 3 countries effective March 13, 2020. This policy is in effect for 60 days or until new guidance is released. It is recommended people view current DOD travel advisories and limit all non-essential travel, to include exercises and temporary duty location (TDY). To find the latest DOD guidance for official and non-official travel, visit https://www.fcg.pentagon.mil/fcg.cfm
  • PT tests are suspended
  • Limiting the number of individuals in the VCC at one time and questioning visitors for foreign travel.  Some people may get turned away if they visited Level III countries in the last 14 days.
  • Space A lodging is suspended.
  • The CDC and Youth Center are open for personnel actively working on the installation. Individuals who are teleworking are not authorized to drop their children off at the CDC and Youth Center.
  • Limit mass gatherings to less than 10 people.
  • Make sure you are cleaning in your units and have the proper supplies on hand.
  • All dining establishments will be Take-Out only.
  • 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.

HPCON MEASURES

SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19

TEAM ELLSWORTH INFORMATION

Please be aware of new COVID-19 Security Forces Precautions to be enforced to protect defenders and personnel.

  • To minimize contact between individuals, personnel entering base need to present their ID card to the Security Forces member at the gate, showing the back side of the card so they may scan the barcode.
  • Extended individual distances will be enforced during routine vehicle inspections at the search area.
  • Visitor Control Center will have specific social distancing directions within the facility including where to stand.

    Inbound service members and families coming from a country with a HPCON Level 3 Travel Health Notice, as determined by the CDC, must reach out to their losing unit's commander, superintendent or first sergeant prior to arrival to Malmstrom.

    We are working with our local officials to ensure the safety and security of service members, family, and community members. We continue to address all medical concerns as they arise and work with our medical professionals to keep you informed as the situation develops.

    For more information on cases in the states, visit the CDC website.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS COMPARISON CHART

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 facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • 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% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For more information to protect yourself, friends and family from unknowingly spreading diseases, visit the CDC website here.

DOD GUIDELINES

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

COPING WITH STRESS

HELPING CHILDREN COPE WITH STRESS

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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:

  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath

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:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

Q9: If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • 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.

 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.

US CIVILIAN EMPLOYEES Q&A

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 —

  • Quarantinable Communicable Diseases. For purposes of this guidance, the term “quarantinable communicable disease” means a disease for which Federal isolation and quarantine are authorized. Isolation can be used to separate people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick in order to stop the spread of that illness. Quarantine can be used to separate and restrict the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick and to prevent the possible spread of that disease to others. Agencies should refer to the list of quarantinable communicable diseases at https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/aboutlawsregulationsquarantineisolation.html.
  • Under certain circumstances, the CDC or a State or local health department may determine that exposure to a quarantinable disease would jeopardize the health of others, and that quarantine of the exposed individual is warranted to protect the public’s health. If the disease is not a quarantinable communicable disease, as defined by Executive Order, and a health authority or health care provider has concerns that exposure to the disease could jeopardize the health of others, the health authority or health care provider should contact the CDC for evaluation of the risk factors and further recommendation.
  • Influenza. Influenza may be classified as either seasonal or pandemic. Influenza strains that are new and capable of causing a pandemic are classified as quarantinable diseases; however, seasonal influenza strains – those that cause outbreaks of influenza every winter – are not considered quarantinable. Therefore, exposure to seasonal influenza will not meet the criteria for use of sick leave for exposure to a quarantinable communicable disease. Currently, there is no declared influenza pandemic, and agencies should not grant sick leave for exposure to influenza until they receive guidance from the appropriate officials (e.g., CDC, OPM). Employees who are sick with seasonal influenza and contagious to others should be allowed to use sick leave according to agency policies.

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.

TRICARE Warning About Coronavirus Test kit Scam

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."