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U.S. Air Force Academy Coronavirus Updates

The U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) is continually monitoring the spread of the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic and taking actions to mitigate threats to community health and impacts to mission. Our installation commander first declared a public health emergency on March 23, 2020 and has extended the order to February 6, 2021. 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.

We are slowly reopening the installation services, activities and workplaces. 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.

The Secretary of Defense has designated all accession sources and military training pipelines as mission essential. USAFA, as one of those key Air Force accession sources, is one of the first universities in the nation to have its entire student body return to campus. As we resume an in-person experience on campus this fall, cadets, faculty and staff share the responsibility of keeping the USAFA community healthy and safe. Our ability to enjoy as rich of an academic experience as we can in the midst of the pandemic will depend on all of us.

On this page you will find detailed information about what to expect this fall and how to do your part to keep the campus community safe. Please bookmark this page and refer back to it regularly.

Female cadet wearing mask

 

Current Status

The safety of cadets, faculty, staff and the entire community remains our number one priority. While we cannot share the positive case numbers per Department of Defense guidance, currently positive COVID-19 cases is approximately 1% of our Air Force Academy Cadets and Preparatory School Cadet Candidates. This represents an upward trend that necessitates more proactive measures to curve the growth. The increased COVID-19 posture is not limited to the Cadet Wing, but applies to the installation at large.

We continue to randomly select and test approximately 750 cadets, faculty and staff for COVID-19 per week. Random testing has proven to be an effective tool in controlling the spread of the virus, since 80-90% of people in the cadets’ age group who are positive are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms. Identifying COVID-19 in those who do not know they are positive has contributed to keeping positive cases very low

 

COMMUNICATIONS

All Superintendent communications sent to the campus community related to the coronavirus outbreak will be provided below.

November 9, 2020 – 90-day Extension of Public Health Emergency

November 2, 2020 – COVID-19 Actions/Return to Reopening Phase II-a & Guidance on Gatherings

October 29, 2020 – Superintendent COVID-19 Update

October 15, 2020 – Installation Halloween Activities Guidance

October 14, 2020 – COVID-19 Posture Update

 

CADET UPDATES

The entire Cadet Wing, composed of approximately 4,400 cadets, is now on campus. Classes began on August 12 as a mix of in-person and online learning. In-person classes are employing creative solutions to create social distancing such as outdoor classes, using larger classrooms, and accomplishing labs and other hands-on coursework in small groups.

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 are positive, the cadet will remain in isolation until 1) 10 days from start of symptoms, 2) 24 hours fever free, and 3) symptoms are improving.

A revised Academic Calendar for Fall 2020 is now available. After careful evaluation, there will be no Thanksgiving/Fall Break and the semester will end early on December 11. Classes will be held on Veteran’s Day on November 11 and the day after Thanksgiving on November 27. Cadet liberties on Thanksgiving Day will be determined based on conditions at USAFA and in the local community.

Effective immediately, the Cadet Wing is transitioning to COVID Response Phase 3 with an intent to limit unnecessary interaction and ensure that all cadets are able to depart the installation after final exams, if desired. The following guidance applies to cadets: must remain on USAFA installation unless permitted to leave base for a limited duration for necessities, such as take-out food, grocery store or personal items; overnight passes via ETP only; no in-person club activities; and all Intramurals, SAMIs, AMIs, PAIs, and NMF are temporarily suspended. For more specific guidance, click here.

October 30, 2020 – Cadet Wing Transitions to COVID Response Phase 3

September 16, 2020 – Updated Quarantine Guidance

September 2, 2020 – Cadet Wing COVID-19 Protocol Compliance

 

Parent Updates

Due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus, Parent’s Weekend, which is typically held over Labor Day weekend, has been cancelled.  For the latest information for parents of cadets, click here. For additional questions, email USAFA.Parent.Liaison@afacademy.af.edu.

All communications sent to the parent community related to the coronavirus outbreak will be provided below.

Sept 21, 2020 – Superintendent Letter to Parents

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

 

Employee UPDATES

USAFA personnel have been brought back to a modified workplace that reduces the risk of viral transmission. Such modifications include assigning blue/silver team work shifts so not all workers are working at the same time, rearrangement of the workplace to separate workers by six feet or more and ensuring hand sanitizer and cleaning products are readily available.

To pursue teleworking, complete the required training and then complete a telework agreement in coordination with your supervisor.

While on base, 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.

To learn more about our civilian personnel policies 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.

October 20, 2020 – USAFA Return to Work (In-Person) and Communication Business Rules

October 16, 2020 – Voluntary Civilian Employee COVID-19 Testing

August 26, 2020 – USAFA Supervisors COVID-19 Guide

June 4, 2020 – Reasonable Accommodation Process and FAQs

May 6, 2020 – USAFA Reopening Guide During COVID-19 Pandemic

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

Sporting events are closed to the public. Academy leadership will continue to monitor the situation and stay connected to national sports governing bodies as we look for opportunities to safely welcome back fans. 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 domestic travel. Military members are authorized to take local leave up to 250 miles travel distance from USAFA, as well as take leave outside of the local 250-mile area with approval from their unit commander. For a list of FAQs as it relates, click here.

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:

November 25, 2020 – Updated USAFA Travel Guidance

August 24, 2020 – USAFA Leave Policy for Travel Outside of 250 Miles

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

Visit the Admissions website to learn more about our admissions process, including Frequently Asked Questions related to the impact of the coronavirus.

For Class of 2025 hopefuls, we are continuing to review our application process and adjusting as necessary to meet the current COVID-19 environment.  Admissions counselors are available to help applicants and candidates with their individual concerns and questions.

In-person tours, college fairs and outreach events are cancelled until further notice. We are hosting regular virtual events.  Click here for details and to schedule virtual events.

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

July 23, 2020 – Director of Admissions Letter #5

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

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 is open daily to Active Duty, Active Guard and Reserve and Active Duty Dependents. Wearing a mask is required at all times. Showers are available and the pool is open 9am to 6pm daily.

The Eisenhower Golf Course is open to DoD ID and VHIC card holders with scheduled tee-times. No walk-ons are permitted. For more information and to schedule a tee time, click here.

The Commissary is no longer limiting the amount of customers in the store; however, customers are still required to wear masks and socially distance while shopping. Visitors are welcome. For the latest hours of operation, click here. For questions, call 719-333-2428.

The Child Development Center (CDC) is open to all eligible users. For information on enhanced safety protocols, click here. For questions, call 719-333-6779.

The Community Chapel has resumed worship services at the following times: Catholic Mass on Saturday and Sunday at 4pm and Protestant Service on Sunday at 9:30am. Due to limited space, all desiring to attend services must register online. 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.

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.

November 16, 2020 – 10th Medical Group COVID-19 Services Summary

September 2, 2020 – USAFA Restriction of Movement (ROM) and Quarantine & Isolation (Q&I) Flowcharts