HomeCOVID-19

CURRENT SITUATION

Upcoming Virtual Town Halls
TBD


Previous Virtual Town Halls and AFN Interviews
86th Airlift Wing Commander and Command Chief – March 30
AFN Interview with 86th Airlift Wing Commander and Command Chief – March 27
86th Airlift Wing Commander and Command Chief – March 23
AFN Interview with 86th Airlift Wing Commander, Command Chief and Public Health – March 20
86th Airlift Wing Commander, DoDEA, Mission Support Group, Public Health, DeCA, and AAFES – March 16

Current COVID-19 Cases
Kaiserslautern City and County Districts have had 135 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

For the latest COVID-19 cases within Rhineland-Palatinate, check the Robert Koch Institute website.
For the latest COVID-19 cases in Germany, check the World Health Organization website.
 

German Restrictions
Effective midnight March 22, new restrictions are in effect nationwide in Germany.  These restrictions include:

  • No groups of more than two people (families and members of the same household are exempt)
  • Outdoor exercise is still allowed for individuals, families, or with one other non-family member
  • In public, people must maintain a minimum distance of at least 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) between each other
  • All restaurants and cafes will remain closed for inside and outside service, limited to pick-up and delivery only
  • Other non-essential services and places like libraries, barber shops, beauty salons are closed
  • Grocery stories, banks, gas stations, drug stores and pharmacies will remain open

For complete information, click here.

As with the earlier restriction that limited groups, this restriction will also apply on base when outside of the workplace. These social distancing measures are a crucial step in preventing the spread of infection and protecting the health of the community. Therefore, it is important for base personnel to conform to these same group limits on and off base when outside of the workplace.


Duty Location Guidance
Wing leadership understands the decision to close schools and childcare services creates some hardships for families, especially our dual-military and single parents. Therefore, the wing commander has signed a policy to provide guidance to Airmen, DoD civilians and commanders.

See the complete memo here. Parents should continue to work through their individual chain of command if additional guidance is necessary.

Members employing telework capabilities can find a compendium of available resources and information below:


Changes to Base Operations and Hours
Numerous changes to base operations and hours are now in effect to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the installation and to preserve our combat capability. See the sections below for complete details.

Due to Ramstein's increase to Health Protection Condition Charlie, all shuttle services will be stopped until further notice.


Schools and Childcare Services
German schools are now closed through April 17.

All DoDEA schools in the KMC are now closed and using digital learning until further notice.

If you experience technical difficulties, please contact the school directly. A full list of KMC-area schools is available here.

The 86th Mission Support Group will re-assess Air Force Child Development Centers, Child and Youth Centers an Before and After School Care closures on a regular basis to determine when facilities will reopen. More information will be provided to parents who have children in these childcare facilities.

For childcare planning purposes, ensure you first consult the Child Supervision Policy and guidance for providing childcare in base housing.

There are rules regarding who can and cannot provide childcare services. Please read Unauthorized Home Care for more information.

DoDEA and AAFES are working closely together to provide breakfast and lunches on a grab-and-go basis for families.  To view program details, click here.  Members should select meal(s) the day before so that AAFES has enough preparation time.  Members who select meal(s) need to pick them up the following day.  For the current menu, click here.


Guidance for US and Non-US Civilian Personnel
For the latest guidance concerning our US and Non-US civilian workforce, click here.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

Update (3/26/2020)

On March 25, Secretary of Defense enacted a 60-day stop movement order for all Department of Defense uniformed and civilian personnel and their sponsored family members overseas. Building upon previously enacted movement restrictions governing foreign travel, permanent change of station moves, temporary duty and personal leave, this stop movement order will also impact exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. More info available here.

To view the original stop movement order signed by the Secretary of Defense that became effective March 13, click here

To view updated FAQ about travel restrictions, click here. 

For the latest Air Force guidance on the stop movement, including impacts on professional military education, enlisted promotions and fitness guidance, access myPers here.

To view the Air Force directive that restricts leave to the local area during the pandemic, click here.

See Per Diem/Transportation Allowance section below for more information about entitlements for members impacted by the stop movement order.

MEDICAL QUESTIONS

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The virus is spread by respiratory droplets (coughing/sneezing), just like the flu or a cold. The highest risk is being within 6 feet of someone who is infected for greater than 15 minutes. There is a small chance of spread by touching objects (example: doorknobs) that have the virus on them and then touching your mouth or face, but that is not the main way it spreads.

Based on information from the CDC, the estimated incubation period is 2 to 14 days. However, that is an estimation, and it could be longer, up to 28 days.

Death is an unlikely outcome from COVID-19. Most of those that have died were elderly, those with significant medical illnesses or a lower immune system response.

Quarantine is the phrase used for isolating people who have no symptoms but had a possible exposure to a high risk illness. Isolation is the phrase used when we isolate people who have symptoms of a high risk illness.

The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases (including COVID-19). Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. Masks should be worn appropriately (do not adjust your mask or touch your face after putting it on, or if you have to, use hand sanitizer immediately afterwards) by persons who have any cold/flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, etc.)

LRMC will remain open in the event of a base shutdown and will conduct screening for eligible beneficiaries. Wait times may vary depending on patient load. There may be some restriction on patients entering for routine, non-urgent/emergent care.

Currently, you will likely be put under a voluntary at-home quarantine if you've been exposed to someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. If you're experiencing symptoms, always call ahead to your clinic for telephone assessment before being seen in person, and be upfront with your doctor about your travel history.

We are making deliberate decisions to balance preserving combat capability while ensuring our community stays healthy. At this time our Health Protection Condition is not to a point which warrants such actions. We are following the Center for Disease Control recommendations for those individuals who need quarantine. If anyone is sick, we recommend they stay home regardless of COVID19 specific concerns.

German Public Health has two Corona Test stations: Schwedelbach and Erfenbach. Testing for Tricare Beneficiaries is done via primary care physicians or COVID clinics. Testing is based on medical indication, not patient request.

Testing takes about 24 to 48 hours depending on when the sample gets to the lab at LRMC. Testing is done based on the medical indications, not patient request.

Landstuhl Regional Medical Center now has the ability to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID-19 for TRICARE beneficiaries, but the specific test for COVID-19 is not a rapid test. Patients are screened in accordance with Department of Defense and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to determine if a patient’s risk level necessitates testing. Screening guidelines address whether patients have symptoms of fever and lower respiratory illness, or have had close contact with individuals who are suspected or known to have the illness within the past 14 days.

If your child is experiencing flu-like symptoms, please call the TRICARE Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE or 0800-071-3516 (from a European line). A nurse can offer a screening via phone and evaluate whether more testing may be warranted. As with any "normal" flu, you should keep your child home to avoid spreading germs throughout schools and CDCs.

As with any flu season, if you are close to someone who appears to have flu-like symptoms, you should practice proper hygiene and encourage others to do the same. Stay at least 6 feet away and limit interactions with sick individuals to less than 15 minutes if possible.

-Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
-If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol
-Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
-Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
-Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
-Make sure your flu shot is up to date.

DODEA Questions

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Teachers are authorized to work from home. Some administrators and support staff will continue to work in the schools.
Students will not be allowed in the school during the time of closure due to supervision and health concerns. Students were instructed to make necessary preparations for distance learning prior to the weekend. If a student has forgotten books or necessary supplies, parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers directly for assistance.
Bringing school-aged children to work is highly discouraged unless approved by unit leadership. We understand the decision to close schools and childcare services creates some hardships for families, especially our dual-military and single parents. Therefore, the wing commander has signed a policy to provide guidance to Airmen, DoD civilians and commanders. Parents should continue to work through their individual chain of command if additional guidance is necessary.

All DoDEA schools in Europe are closed to students until further notice. This is an evolving situation with many factors playing into our decision-making, but we will continue to evaluate the situation and consult experts on the best way forward. All decisions will be made with the health of our students, staff and community in mind.

DoDEA Europe leadership continues to work closely with health officials, military leaders, and host nation partners to monitor the situation. We will continuously evaluate how long schools should remain closed. If the closure extends to Spring Break, currently the plan is for students to take a pause from classes during their normally-scheduled Spring Break.

The schools are working to provide grab-and-go meals for parents to pick up each day for their children during this time. This service is expected to begin on or about Monday, March 23. The service will vary from community to community. Schools will send out more information to families who qualify for this service. More information can be found about this program here.

Yes, we understand that the distance learning can be more difficult for some students with specialized needs. Parents are encouraged to speak with their teachers and case managers regarding specific concerns. At this time we ask for your patience as we work through how to best accommodate these students.
Classes are continuing in a virtual manner through our digital learning program. At the current time we do not anticipate having to schedule make-up days.

Retiree Questions

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Yes! Contact the Acting Director of the RAO at Jim.Barrante@fcfgh.net for more information on receiving regular “buddy checks”.

No. In order to abide by social distancing protocols the base is no longer hosting a passport outreach day in April. The U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt is providing only limited emergency services to American citizens. If your passport expires in the next 60-days we recommend contacting the American Consulate-Frankfurt for advice. 

The American Legion located in Kaiserslautern with support from Boy Scout Troop 12 is offering assistance to our local retirees. Please email michael.young63@yahoo.com or call 0176-276-49912

Yes, the Casualty Assistance Office at Ramstein Air Base is taking appointments via teleconference. Send an email to christine.fenton@us.af.mil or call: 067371-47-5759 to book an appointment.

Operations Questions

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The garrison looks at a different area than we do. The four installations we have within the 86th Airlift Wing and KMC is different than what the Army does within their garrison. If you work here at Ramstein, look at our website, Facebook page and App to see what is affecting us here.

Right now, this is a varsity-level event with everything we are doing. For this reason, we will not have an Operation Varsity Exercise this April.

On March 25, Secretary of Defense enacted a 60-day stop movement order which impacts deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. As the gateway to the world, our professional airlift mission will continue. 

There are multiple forces play. We have U.S. policy, Secretary of Defense and Air Force policy, as well as international and host nation policy. The Secretary of Defense issued a Stop Movement, setting a fairly high bar to allow people to move around.

Waivers have been approved based on hardship, humanitarian or mission essential needs. Please reach out to your First Sergeants and Squadron Command Teams to understand the process and let them know if you have a unique circumstance.

We’re also working through the latest financial guidance to alleviate fears of, “I’m in an expensive place and I can’t do this for two months, nor do I have two months of leave saved up to be able to do this.” There are mechanisms in place to mitigate undue hardship. Guidance will continue to flow as it becomes available to give flexibility to commanders and supervisors for both military and civilian Airmen.

Extracurricular activities have been cancelled and religious services will be broadcast virtually on their Facebook page to abide by the physical distancing protocols.

We are going out of our way to make sure they stay in different locations. We are protecting them as much as possible. We are following FAA and DoD guidance to keep them separate and as safe as possible. They are currently exempt from the 14-day quarantine except for when they present symptoms, in which case they will go through extra screening.

This is a tough time for folks in the mobility business. Logistics will stay alive and our aircrew will keep the mission flying while we do our best to keep them protected.

Mission essential activities will remain open. Each leadership team knows exactly what it takes to run their operations. We will not dictate to them how many people they can have at work, however we encourage the use electronic means where possible.

Absolutely. Squadron commanders have been given the tools they need, we are encouraging those with the ability to telework to do so.

Yes, with most of our out-processing done through email or phone calls Airmen are encouraged to continue as planned. Complete as much as you can and continue to plan.

Our schedule remains the same as it has always been. Once the stores close, our vender stockers and commissary employees come on to restock the stores. There is no need to “panic shop” as the supply chain is stable.

Miscellaneous Questions

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Currently commanders have the authority to relax standards given the inability to find a barber. Right now the guidance is off the collar and not touching the ears, but shaving standards remain the same.

Due to increased HPCON measures, base access is limited to visitors who have official business.

The Mission Support Group commander continues to work closely with our DeCA team, exploring what options are available for us to continue to meet the needs of the community and help people remain protected. We ask that you make sure you are doing everything you can to help protect yourself.

Unfortunately no. There is some great guidance on the financial front allowing certain entitlements to individuals during this unique time, please view the Comptroller Policy Memo for more information.

If you have concerns dial 1-1-2. No one will prevent you from calling emergency services. We don’t need police efforts, what we really need is compliance. We need the Airmen to know why these guidelines are being pushed out. We are trying to do is lower the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 so it doesn't out pace our medical capacity.

On base policy reflects that of the CDC and host nation. Maintain 2 meter spacing and groups are to be no larger than two individuals unless residing in the same household.

Please talk to your First Sergeant and command team, there is flexibility to ensure we do the right thing to take care of our community. Commanders have been given the leeway to make sure Airmen are taking care of themselves and their family members.

Air Force Public Health officials state there is no scientific evidence of mail needing to be disinfected prior to delivery. Officials recommend washing your hands thoroughly and avoid touching our nose or face while handling mail or any other objects.

Vehicle registrations and ESSO cards are valid until further notice as long as insurance coverage remains current.

The only way to get funded travel is with an approved exception to policy.

Health care would be obtained off base. It would be important to work with the U.S. Embassy.

Click the link to the Robert Koch Institute or the World Health Organization located on this page to see the current areas most impacted by COVID-19.

While the playgrounds may be closed, the walking paths will remain open for children to ride or walk on. We know the situation isn't ideal, and we can empathize with the difficulties this may cause for many families. This decision wasn't made lightly, and is in the interest of our community as a whole.

Families can still go outside for runs, walks, and leisurely activities as long as everyone is ensuring compliance of physical distancing rules.

CONTACT INFORMATION

COVID-19 Hotline
Mon - Fri; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sat - Sun; 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
DSN: 480-9001, or commercial 06371-47-9001 

Ramstein AB

  • Medical Appointments: 06371-46-2273; 314-479-2273
  • Dental Appointments: 06371-46-2210; 314-479-2210

Other Numbers:

  • International SOS: +(44) 20-8762-8384 (option 1)
  • International SOS Toll Free (from Germany): 800-589-1599
  • TRICARE Nurse Advice Line: 1-800-TRICARE; or 0800-071-3516 (from a European Line)

Social Media:

Post your comments, questions, or concerns on the Ramstein AB Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/RamsteinOfficial/

Useful Websites:

Recommended Apps:

  • Air Force Connect App: Provides updated news and directory for base services
  • International SOS: TRICARE translation services
  • 112: GPS capability/provides emergency patient locations to call center agents