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U.S. Air Force Academy Coronavirus Updates

Though the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic is beginning to slow its spread, the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) is continually monitoring the situation and taking action to mitigate threats to community health, and impacts to our mission.The USAFA installation commander declared a public health emergency on March 23 and extended the order to August 18. The declaration allows the base commander to take certain protective measures, such as restricting base movement and limiting services. The state of Colorado, Colorado Springs and various counties throughout the state are in similar states of emergency.

As we continue reopening the installation, services, activities and workplaces will gradually expand. Although the North Gate has returned to normal hours, we remain closed to visitors. We are continuing to observe Health Protection Condition (HPCON) level “B” to further safeguard service members, community and the national defense missions supported here. HPCON-B indicates a substantial risk of disease being spread and increases protective measures like social distancing and wearing of masks, as well as restrictions on in-person meetings and official travel.

USAFA is monitoring anyone who shows signs of illness, and are following CDC and DoD guidelines for testing and medical responses. Cadets suspected of exposure to the virus or showing signs of illness will be assessed. If the assessment shows the cadet may have been exposed they will be quarantined and tested. If the test results as a positive, the cadet will remain in isolation until the symptoms have resolved and/or lab results return negative.

As this is a dynamic situation, this webpage will provide timely information on the evolving outbreak, as well as actions the Academy is taking to mitigate the spread of the virus. Please check back regularly for recommendations and instructions for cadets, parents, visitors, faculty and staff. For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

COMMUNICATIONS

All Superintendent communications sent to the campus community related to the coronavirus outbreak will be provided below. For more letters from the Commandant, Dean and other senior leaders, click here.

July 8, 2020 – COVID 19 – Back to Basics

July 1, 2020 – Superintendent Weekly Update

June 23, 2020 – Superintendent Weekly Update

June 12, 2020 – Return to HPCON B Announcement

May 27, 2020 – Superintendent Weekly Update

May 18, 2020 – Superintendent Weekly Update

May 11, 2020 – Superintendent Weekly Update

 

CADET UPDATES

On March 13, USAFA began an orderly dismissal of cadet candidates at the prep school and four, three and two degrees (freshman, sophomores and juniors) to complete their coursework remotely. The first class (seniors) cadets remained on campus to conclude their studies. The Class of 2020 graduation and commissioning took place on April 18.

On June 25, we welcome the Class of 2024 to USAFA. In an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, each appointee will be tested immediately upon arriving and enter a 14-day period where they will under-go online training, in-processing and have limited exposure to fellow cadets outside of their cohort of 30 appointees. Each appointee will then be retested before beginning more rigorous basic training activities within their 30-person flight. For the latest information and drop-off instructions, appointees should regularly check the Admissions Portal for updates.

 

Parent Updates

The health and well-being of our cadets remains our top priority, as we continue to assess the situation and prepare for any contingency. If parents have any questions or require additional information, email USAFA.Parent.Liaison@afacademy.af.edu.  All communications sent to the parent community related to the coronavirus outbreak will be provided below.

Jun 1, 2020 – Commandant Letter to Parents of Class of 2024

May 12, 2020 – Superintendent Letter to Parents of Class of 2024

April 28, 2020 – Superintendent Letter to Parents #4

March 21, 2020 – Superintendent Letter to Parents #3

March 13, 2020 – Superintendent Letter to Parents #2

March 6, 2020 –  Superintendent Letter to Parents  #1

 

Employee UPDATES

Beginning May 11, USAFA began transitioning from official business only to reopening workplaces. All military, civilians and contractor personnel are required to wear face coverings, maintain a six foot distance from co-workers and observe proper respiratory etiquette. Gatherings are limited to no more than 50 people per room while observing six feet of distance from each other. To learn more, review USAFA guidance, DoD guidance and Frequently Asked Questions.

If personnel are able to telework, they should continue do so. As services and activities begin to expand, supervisors may increase the physical presence in work centers. If personnel are healthy and need to come on base to accomplish their mission, they should only stay as long as necessary. If new personnel need to begin teleworking, start by completing the required training and then complete a telework agreement with your supervisor.

To learn more about our civilian personnel policies and flexibilities as it relates to communicable diseases and influenza, as well as Frequently Asked Questions regarding leave and telework, click here. This website provides up-to-date guidance from the Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense and the Office of Personnel Management.

Military and civilian personnel may also visit the secure myPers website (CAC required) for more information. If you do not have the telework capability or access to myPers messages outside of the work place, download the following instructions to access on your personal Apple and Android devices.

If employees or supervisors have any questions or require additional information, email 10FSS.FSCA.Main@us.af.mil.

March 15, 2020 – Civilian Personnel Guidance: Questions and Answers the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Visitor & Event Restrictions

As a precautionary measure to ensure the heath and safety of our military, civilian personnel, family members and base community, USAFA is limiting access to DoD ID card holders. At current, the North Gate, Visitor Center and Planetarium are closed to visitors until further notice.

During this closure, individuals may still explore our campus by launching the interactive, 360-degree virtual tour. Tour stops include the Cadet Chapel, Jacks Valley, CyberCity, Falcon Stadium and more!

Launch Virtual Tour

All home and away sporting events are cancelled indefinitely. Academy leadership will continue to monitor the situation and stay connected to national sports governing bodies, as well as various government agencies. For the must up-to-date information, visit our Athletics website.

Admissions events on campus, to include Discover USAFA, Explore USAFA and other Admissions Tours are suspended until further notice.

Public outreach events held off campus, such Air Force Band performances, are suspended until further notice. For events hosted by outside organizations, such as Academy Days, Service Academy Workshops and college fairs, please contact the hosting official for the most up-to-date information.

For an up-to-date list of 10th Force Support Squadron (FSS) event cancellations and postponements, click here.

 

Travel restrictions

Travel restrictions will be re-evaluated on a routine basis and all communications will be provided below. For a list of general travel and transportation FAQs, click here.

All military Airmen, cadets, cadet candidates, DoD civilians and their families assigned to DoD installations will halt all domestic travel, including Permanent Change of Station, and Temporary Duty. Until these travel restrictions are lifted, only local leave is authorized up to 250 miles travel distance from USAFA. This stop movement order was effective March 13 and has been extended through June 30, 2020. For a list of FAQs as it relates, click here. To request a mission-essential travel waiver, complete the required form and route through Mission Element leadership.

All DoD civilians and their families traveling to, from, or through countries with a CDC Level 3 will stop movement through May 11, 2020. This includes all forms of official travel, such as PCS, TDY and government-funded leave. This also includes personal leave and other non-official travel. All military and their family members will cease all international travel through May 24, 2020.

For civilian specific guidance, to include movement, recruiting actions, telework, leave, and duty status, refer to the secure myPers website (CAC required) for more information.

We strongly encourage all cadets, cadet candidates and permanent party to carefully plan any leisure domestic travel and consider the associated risks. While we understand that modifying or canceling travel may cause financial hardship, many companies are offering refunds based on travel disruptions. Although there is no mechanism for USAFA to refund travel expenses incurred from canceling or postponing leisure travel, click here for an official letter detailing our travel restrictions.

For the latest DoD guidance, click here. The following is supplemental USAFA guidance currently in effect:

June 30, 2020 – USAFA Updated Stop Movement Order – Local Area Intent, Radius, and Waivers

June 10, 2020 – USAFA Guidance on Restriction of Movement for Inbound Personnel

June  9, 2020 – USAFA Restriction of Movement

May 20, 2020 – USAFA Updated Stop Movement Order – Local Area Intent, Radius, and Waivers

May 14, 2020 – USAFA Stop Movement Policy Impacts

 

Admissions Updates

The Class of 2024 in-processed on June 25, 2020. Visit the Admissions website to learn more about our admissions process, including Frequently Asked Questions related to the impact of the coronavirus.

Admissions counselors are available to help applicants and candidates. For those who have applied and been accepted, please complete your Appointee Kit actions and continue preparing for Basic Cadet Training.

Tours, college fairs and outreach events are cancelled until further notice. Appointee Webinars will continue, with additional sessions added to answer any questions.  Appointees should look for an email detailing Webinar session times and log-in information. All 2020 Summer Seminar sessions have been cancelled. For questions, email usafa.admissions.programs@usafa.edu.

All communications sent to the applicant and appointee communities related to the coronavirus outbreak will be provided below.

May 21, 2020 – Director of Admissions Letter #4

April 23, 2020 – Summer Seminar Cancellation Letter

April 20, 2020 – Director of Admissions Letter #3

April 2, 2020 – Director of Admissions Letter #2

March 17, 2020 – Director of Admissions Letter #1

 

Base Services

Mitchell Hall on-site dining is closed; however, cadets are receiving their daily meals in carry-out containers from employees wearing personal protection in accordance with Public Health guidelines. Employees are practicing social distancing within Mitchell Hall and staff utilizes high strength sanitizing agents throughout the facility every day.  All supervisors query employees for symptoms prior to the start of their shift. Any employees that are feeling ill are sent home and must have a doctor’s note to return to duty. To ensure cadets continue to be fed in the event of a disruption, we retain 14 days of food on-site and have agreements with multiple local vendors to supplement our capability and manpower if necessary.

Most athletic facilities are closed for use by all non-cadets until further notice, including no escorting of friends and family members. Cadets will continue to adhere to reduced hours of operation and strict rules of engagement to maximize social distancing. The Cadet Fitness Center and Pool are open to cadets, permanent party and contractors with restricted access hours and rules of engagement. Face masks are required for both facilities at all times, except when in the water.

The Base Fitness Center will be open to Active Duty members who live and work on base.  The number of personnel allowed inside the facility will be limited and the wear of a mask will be required at all times.  The Pool, Sauna, Courts, Showers and Classes will not be available during this transitional period.

The Eisenhower Golf Course is open to online reservations only. Other morale, welfare and recreation (MWR) activities will begin opening, often with limited hours and restrictions. For an up-to-date list of 10th Force Support Squadron (FSS) activities and services, click here.

As access to the base is restricted for official business only, shopping trips to the Exchange and Commissary are no longer permitted to those who reside off base. All eligible members will be allowed to shop from 1200 to closing every day.  The mornings will be designated for the elderly, cadets, and permanent party only.

The Exchange and Commissary are limiting the purchase of select items until further notice. This list includes masks, hand sanitizers, toilet paper, disinfectant cleaners and more. Additionally, the Commissary has implemented shopping limits in response to anticipated shortages in the supply chain of meat products. Customers are limited to two items each of fresh beef, pork, chicken and turkey. These limitations may increase or decrease depending on stock and availability of each item. For an up-to-date list of purchase restrictions, please locate the signage at the store entrances.

Produce, perishables and meats remain in stock at the Commissary. In an effort to promote social distancing, only 30 customers are permitted access to the facility at any given time. 100% ID checks are in effect with no visitors permitted at any time. For the latest hours of operation, click here. For questions, call 719-333-2428.

Restaurants located in the Exchange dining rooms are closed until further notice; however, take-out and drive-thru are still available. All concession food trucks have ceased operation until further notice. For questions, call 719-472-0861.

The Child Development Center (CDC) will only care for children of personnel designated as Mission Essential. For questions, call 719-333-6779.

The Community Chapel has suspended all worship services and religious education until further notice. Chaplains remain available for spiritual support. For questions, call 719-333-3300.

The Cadet Wing Barber Shop remains open. The Community Center Barber Shop is open 10am to 3pm Monday through Saturday.

The majority of services typically provided at the Pass & Registration Center have been temporarily moved to the Large Vehicle Inspection Station at the South Gate. Due to this change in location, the following services are unavailable: issuing badges; proximity cards; gates, doors, cadet and airfield access. Only 30-day paper passes will be issued at this time. For questions, call 719-333-0447.

Most offices and support functions located on base are minimally manned with the majority of personnel telecommuting when feasible. Please email or call ahead to ensure availability.

 

Health Services

If you are a USAFA 10th Medical Group beneficiary and wish to be tested for coronavirus, call the Patient Appointing Service at 719-526-2273 to leave a message. A nurse will then return your call to coordinate an appointment. Do not show up to the clinic without calling ahead, as that puts other patients and healthcare workers at risk.

If you are a member of the faculty and staff and wish to report a potentially infected person on base or request medical information about coronavirus, email the Medical Control Center at usaf.usafa.10-mdg.mbx.medical-control-center@mail.mil. For urgent issues, call 719-333-5413.

The Primary and Cadet medical clinics remain open until further notice.The Dental Clinic will restrict appointments to emergency, essential, and pain management dental care only.

The Pharmacy remains open; however, only 9 customers are permitted in the lobby at any given time. Patients must submit their request for prescriptions in an envelope and pickup will be available within 24 hours. For questions, call 719-333-5157.

For any additional public health questions, visit the 10th Medical Group website, call 719-333-9443 or email usaf.usafa.10-mdg.mbx.public-health@mail.mil.

U.S. Army Fort Carson, a neighboring military installation, has established a Patient Advice Line to answer coronavirus related questions not specific to USAFA. Cadets, their parents and permanent party may call 719-524-2684 between the hours of 7am to 5pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 4pm on Saturday.

 

Resources

USAFA Cadet Medical Information and FAQs (pdf)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Response

Colorado Department of Public Health: Coronavirus Facts

Department of Defense: Coronavirus Response

Department of Defense: Foreign Clearance Guidance

World Health Organization: Coronavirus Explained (video)

World Health Organization: Coronavirus Guidance

Department of State: Travel Advisories

U.S. Northern Command: Coronavirus Updates

Office of Personnel Management: Coronavirus 

U.S. Government Response to Coronavirus

U.S. Air Force Coronavirus Information and Resources