Where can I get additional information or stay informed about impacts on Fort Belvoir?
The latest information pertaining to COVID-19 impacts on Fort Belvoir can be found on our website here where you will find an updated list of on-post closures, postponements and cancellations due to COVID-19. You can also find DoD and CDC resources on our main COVID-19 page here These pages are updated frequently with information as soon as we receive it.
Additional links to information and resources:
Is the post going to close?
There are no plans to close the post.
Are residents allowed to have visitors that already have a visitor access card?
Yes, visitors with a Fort Belvoir Visitors Pass will still be allowed on the installation to visit family and friends.
Please address soon to expire Visitor Passes. Will they be extended?
All Fort Belvoir Visitor Passes expiring within the next 30 days are extended for 30 days.
If the post closes,will we be able to get off the installation for medical appointments? Will family be able to get on post?
The installation is currently open and operating under Health Protection Condition—Charlie Minus status. There are no current plans to close the base; however, some modifications may be implemented such as gate changes. Fort Belvoir residents, employees and visitors with ID/passes will be allowed on and off the installation.
How are we protecting our gate guards?
Asa precaution, guards are no longer holding ID cards in order to scan and validate the occupants in the vehicle. They also wear gloves and sanitize their hands and equipment frequently.
What gates are open and closed?
Tulley Gate: Closed
Visitor Center: Closed
Telegraph Gate: Closed.
J.J. Kingman Gate: Closed
Lieber Gate: Open 7 days a week,24-hours (Visitors and commercial vehicles must use this gate)
Pence Gate: Open 7 days a week from5:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. (Egress closes at 9 p.m.)
Farrar Gate (Davison Army Airfield): Open 7 days a week, 24hours
All Visitor Operations will be handled at Lieber Gate. There is a 30-day extension to all previously issued Fort Belvoir Passes.
Can I obtain a visitor pass?
If you need an installation pass to obtain entrance to post, we are asking everyone to do so through Lieber Gate because our Visitor Center is currently closed until further notice. Lieber Gate is also the same gate required for commercial vehicles to use so please allow sufficient time. Lieber Gate is open 24hrs/7days a week.
Please note, there is a 30-day extension to all previously issued Fort Belvoir Passes.
If you are in the vehicle with a DoD ID Card holder, do you need to get a pass?
Yes, all persons 16 years and older need to have a valid DoD ID Card or Fort Belvoir pass to enter the installation.
Why should I take my own leave?
The Federal Government offers numerous types of leave that can assist employees during incidences of quarantinable communicable diseases (SUCH AS 2019-NCOV). Under current law and regulations,agencies may authorize weather and safety leave only when certain criteria are met.
What if it is not a Quarantinable Communicable Disease?
If the criteria is not met, employees may also use sick leave, annual leave, advanced annual and/or sick leave, Family and Medical Leave Act leave, leave without pay, donated leave under the Voluntary Leave Transfer and Leave Bank Programs, and other paid time off such as compensatory time off,compensatory time off for travel and credit hours earned under flexible work schedules.
I have been quarantined, do I have to use my sick leave?
OPM has determined that agencies may authorize weather and safety leave when an asymptomatic employee (i.e., healthy, not displaying symptoms of the given disease)is subject to movement restrictions (quarantine or isolation) under the direction of public health authorities due to a significant risk of exposure to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as 2019-nCoV. Use of weather and safety leave would supersede the use of sick leave as would have otherwise been allowed in these circumstances under OPM's sick leave regulations at 5 CFR 630.401(a)(5).
Do I use my sick leave, if I have been exposed to a non Quarantinable Communicable Disease?
The use of weather and safety leave would not be appropriate in cases of communicable diseases that have not been designated as quarantinable by public health authorities, since they do not pose the same high degree of safety risks for the public
What kind of leave do I use if I get infected or likely have been infected?
Sick Leave or Advanced Sick Leave. If an employee (whether or not a telework program participant) is diagnosed as being infected, or likely has been infected, with a quarantinable communicable disease,such as 2019-nCoV, use of weather and safety leave would be inappropriate.Accrued or advanced sick leave would normally be used to cover such a period of sickness, as provided in 5 CFR 630.40l (a) (2). Agencies must grant sick leave when an illness prevents an employee from performing work. If the employee exhausts the available sick leave, other paid leave or paid time off may also be available to an employee. An employee is entitled to use an unlimited amount of accrued sick leave when he or she is unable to perform his or her duties due to physical or mental illness or is receiving medical examination or treatment.
What kind of Leave Can I use for General Family Care?
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 2019-nCoV, 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
What kind of Leave Can I use to Care for a Family Member with a Serious Health Condition?
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 used13 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
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 2019-nCoV, 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 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.
I don’t have any sick leave, can I use annual leave?
An employee may use any or all accrued annual leave for personal needs, such as rest and relaxation, vacations,medical needs, personal business, emergencies, or to provide care for a healthy or sick family member. An employee has a right to take annual leave, subject to the right of the supervisor to schedule the time at which annual leave may betaken.
I’m a new employee and I don’t have much annual or sick leave. What do I do?
Ask for Advanced Annual and/or Sick Leave. An agency may advance annual leave in an amount not
to exceed the amount the employee would accrue during the remainder of the leave year. An agency may advance a maximum of up to 30 days (240 hours) of sick leave, subject to limitations, to be used for the same reasons it grants sick leave. An employee may request advanced annual and/or sick leave irrespective of existing leave balances.
When can I invoke the Family and Medical Leave?
An employee may invoke his or her entitlement to unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993in 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 2019-nCoV, and becomes ill would generally be considered to have a qualifying serious health condition.
I have already borrowed the maximum sick and annual leave. What do I do now?
Leave Without Pay. 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 isa temporary nonpay 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
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.
What is donated Leave?
If an employee has a personal or family medical emergency related to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as2019-nCoV, 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).
• Voluntary Leave Transfer Program– The VLTP allows an employee to donate annual leave to assist another employee who has a personal or family medical emergency and who has exhausted his or her own available paid leave.
• Voluntary Leave Bank Program - The VLBP allows an employee who is a member of the agency's voluntary leave bank to receive donated annual leave from the leave bank if the employee experiences a personal or family medical emergency and has exhausted his or her own available paid leave.
What other Paid Time Off can be used?
An employee may use earned compensatory time off, compensatory time off for travel, and/or credit hours earned under a flexible work schedule to be absent from work, including reasons related to a quarantinable communicable disease, such as 2019-nCoV.
• Compensatory Time Off – Compensatory time off is earned time off with pay in lieu of overtime pay for overtime work.
• Compensatory Time Off for Travel – Compensatory time off for travel is earned time off with pay for time spent in a travel status away from the employee's official duty station when such time is not otherwise compensable.
• Credit Hours– Credit hours are hours an employee elects to work, with supervisory approval, in excess of the employee's basic work requirement under a flexible work schedule that provides for credit hours.
What are you doing to ensure all of your base employees are able to telework?
Many have agreements and still can’t telework. As of HPCON-B status, telework is initiated and we are getting the approvals completed and ready for Garrison employees. When, and if, the installation moves to HPCON-C status, more emphasis will be placed on optimizing telework. Fort Belvoir Mission Partners will determine telework for their employees themselves.
What is 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.
I’m a Telework Program Participant. Do I get weather and safety leave?
Use of weather and safety leave would be subject to the normal conditions - for example, weather and safety leave may be granted only if an employee is notable to safely perform work at an approved location. The employee's home is generally an approved location. Thus, the employee would generally be expected to perform telework at home as long as the employee is asymptomatic.(See 5 CFR 630.1605.) If a telework program participant in these circumstances needs time off for personal reasons, then the employee would be expected to take other personal leave or paid time off (e.g.,annual leave or sick leave to care for a family member).
I’m not a Telework Program Participant. Do I get weather and safety leave?
An employee who is not a telework program participant may be granted weather /safety leave for quarantine periods based on potential exposure.
What is the COVID-19 Clinic there and what do they do?
Do they have testing available if someone qualifies? The COVID Clinic allows the hospital to screen patients for COVID-19 while separating them from patients reporting to the hospital for other care.Is EFMP still doing screenings?
Yes, EFMP screenings are still available.Any changes to picking up refills at the exchange for those that are immunocompromised?
There is a drop off prescription service at both the hospital pharmacy and the Exchange pharmacy so patients don’t have to wait in the waiting room.
Why is the Dental Clinic still open and conducting exams?
Dental health is a big part of readiness of the force and officials are assessing each appointment.
What is the strategy for our well child visits?
The hospital has reduced the number of entrances to allow for screening of everyone coming into the building. Also the COVID clinic allows the hospital to separate patients who are being screened or a risk for COVID to be separate from other areas in the hospital.
Has the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital had anyone test positive for the virus?
Yes, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital did have someone test positive for the virus. We understand that the community wants to know how many patients have tested positive for the virus but has a hospital it is important we protect patient privacy.Information is reporter to the Centers for Prevention and Disease Control (CDC)and the Virginia Health Department. They are publishing information on where positive cases are being reported. The hospital is not the source for releasing that information.Are all appointments scheduled still going on?
The hospital is monitoring all of the guidance being published by the various medical boards and medical societies. There will be some appointments that will be cancelled.An example would be group appointments. In order to adhere to social distancing recommendations, we may reschedule group appointments to either individual or virtual appointments. They may be some shift in the way care is delivered. Many patients have elected to cancel their own appointments. Patients are encouraged to work with the hospital staff to make informed decisions about their care.
COVID-19 FAQs from TRICARE
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness that can spread from person-to-person. It’s a novel coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in China.
How does COVID-19 spread?
The virus spreads through close contact between people and by droplets from coughs or sneezes. It also spreads when a person touches a surface with the virus on it, and then touches his or her nose, mouth or eyes.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states people may show symptoms of COVID-19 within two to 14days after exposure. For more information, see the CDC website here.
What should I do if I have been exposed or have symptoms ofCOVID-19?
First, don’t just walk into your military or civilian clinic or hospital. Speak to a Registered Nurse or office staff member in advance. That person will assess your symptoms and advise you on what to do. You may:
- Call the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line (MHS NAL) at 1-800-874-2273, Option 1 or online at https://mhsnurseadviceline.com/
- Call your military or civilian primary care clinic directly
- Send your primary care physician a secure online message, if you can do so.
If you’re enrolled to a military hospital or clinic, you may also:
- Call the appointment line; the appointment line staff can submit a telephone consult to your primary care clinic nurse if you ask for one
- Send your primary care team a secure message in the TRICARE On Line or MHS GENESIS Patient Portal
What is quarantine? And why is 14 days recommended for COVID-19?
Quarantine, in general, means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease. It is recommended by the CDC to quarantine for 14 days because symptoms usually emerge 2-14 days after exposure.
If one person in my family is placed in/on quarantine, does that mean everyone else in the house is in/on quarantine? If not, how do we protect our non-quarantined family members?
Yes. All family members should quarantine if one family member is quarantined. Please contact your health care provider if you have questions.
How is quarantine different from isolation?
Isolation is used to separate people who have already been infected with a communicable disease from those who are healthy. Isolation restricts the movement of ill persons to help stop the spread of certain diseases. For example,hospitals use isolation for patients with infectious tuberculosis.
Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movement of people who aren’t sick who may have been exposed to a communicable disease to see if they become ill. These people may have been exposed to a disease and do not know it,or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms. Quarantine can also help limit the spread of communicable disease.
MWR Programs and Services
How are existing travel camp reservations being handled?
At this time patrons with existing reservations will be able to check-in on their reservation arrival date. All patrons who are checked-in will be able to continue their stay until their check-out date. Any patron with an existing reservation who would like a refund can call to cancel without any penalty.
Are upcoming reservations at travel camp canceled and how can they be canceled since the office is closed?Reservations are not cancelled at this time. If a patron wants to cancel a future existing reservation, please call the Outdoor Recreation Office at 703-805-3081.
What are you doing to ensure supplies, I.e. wipes,cleaning products, water are available to community?Purchasing limits have been implemented for high demand products such as hand sanitizer, wipes,toilet paper, cleaning products, water in order to service more customers.
Is the PX Pharmacy still open?
Yes, the Exchange Pharmacy is open.
Will the private stores/kiosks at the exchange stay open?
Generally, yes. However, some shops may be closed due to unforeseen circumstances.
Is the Exchange considering closing the installation barber shops?
Yes, all barber shops and salons have closed until further notice.
Is the Commissary open?
Yes, the Commissary is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Is Click 2 Go still an option?Yes, the Commissary Click 2 Go service is still available for use.
Visit the Commissary's website here for more information.
What, if any, precautions are being taken for the police and fire department?
Law enforcement, and fire and emergency services are re-looking at how we handle different situations. Some protocols will change to lessen interaction, new ways of doing things to lower risk.
What are the travel restrictions? Who do they apply to?
Effective March 16, 2020, DoD implemented travel restrictions to all DoD military and civilian personnel and their Families assigned to DoD installations, facilities and surrounding areas in the U.S. and its territories. All government-funded movement pertaining to PCS and TDY has been suspended. Exceptions are granted on a case-by-case basis.
View the latest information on DoD travel restrictions here.
What happens to our household goods if we were in the middle of a move? We are essentially homeless and do not have anything with the stop movement.
All PCS actions that are in-progress, will continue through completion. All others have been suspended until May 11. For questions,contact the U.S. Army Human Resources Command (HRC) 24/7 Army Service Center at1-800-582-5552 or visit their website for FAQs here.
ID Card Facility
Is the ID Card Center business as usual?
The ID Card office is still open but only accepting appointments for those whose ID Cards will expire within the next 90 days. Make an appointment online here.
Fort Belvoir Elementary School/ FCPS Information
Are Fort Belvoir Upper and Lower Schools open?
No, all Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) are closed through the end of the academic year in June.
Learn more at the Fort Belvoir Elementary School website here.
Where can families go to get their breakfast and lunch meals the children normally get at school?
As of March 19, there are over 20 locations in Fairfax County for students to receive “grab and go” breakfast and lunch. Our Fort Belvoir residents don’t have to go far because one of those location is the Fort Belvoir Elementary School (Upper), 5970 Meeres Rd. Both breakfast and lunch are available for pick from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Learn more about FCPS food distribution services here.
Child and Youth Services
Are the CDC’s open?
Effective March 23, Fort Belvoir CYS has now moved from mission essential care to EMERGENCY ESSENTIAL Care only for hospital staff and first responders assigned to Fort Belvoir AND who are directly reporting to work from time of drop off. Commander designated certifications will be conducted each day for verification of working status. This requires both sponsor and spouse designation to be eligible.
Emergency Essential Care will continue at South Post CDC and SAC Programs with new restricted hours of 0700-1600, Monday-Friday with all children required to be signed in no later than 0830 to ensure adequate staff coverage for the remainder of the day.
How long will CDC be opened only for mission essential clients/children?
Why are CDCs still open?
The CDCs have been directed by the Garrison Commander to restrict all full-time child care services (to only those single/dual military and single/dual DoD civilians who are Commander Designated Emergency Essential Personnel (First Responders and Community Hospital) patrons in order to support the children of emergency-essential personnel.
Will families receive credits for childcare or discount for days children don’t go to daycare?
Payments for 15-30 March have been suspended and only those families who will be in care 16-30 March will be required to pay childcare fees. Those families who have already paid with AutoDebit will have fees credited against future billing.
For more information and to check the status of credit and billing, call PCS at 703-805-5555.
Please explain why CYS is consolidating all childcare in one center? Why are employees reporting to centers without any children to care for?We are only caring kids of Emergency Essential Personnel at this time. Employees are currently catching up on mandatory training and classes at the other Child Development Centers.
How do you protect the pregnant women that work in theCDCs that are being turned away when they are trying to work?All high risk personnel have been sent home.
Whatare we doing about the CDCs being open, making matters worse?South Post CDC and SAC are open for Emergency Essential Personnel only.
Arecivilians expected to burn leave and then go on LWOP?
Asof 19 March 2020, FMWR employees will not have to use AL or SL.
Willthe employees of the CDCs who are considered “high risk” have to use all theirleave or go on LWOP if they are uncomfortable working in the CDC? Or, willadmin leave be authorized?Asof March 19, MWR employees will not have to use AL or SL.
If I am a civilian employee and I feel like I need to be tested for the coronavirus,who should I contact?
If you believe you might be infected,please call your primary care manager or local hospital.
You can also call the U.S.Army Medical Command's COVID-19 Information Hotline for more information and links to resources:
Overseas DSN 312-421-3700
Stateside DSN 421-3700
Religious Support Office
Are religious services taking place on Fort Belvoir?
All Fort Belvoir chapel services, religious education events and auxiliary meetings are cancelled until further notice. Some services will conduct live streamed services from the RSO Facebook page here.
Villages at Belvoir
Are the playgrounds open?
At this time, all playgrounds have been closed and the Villages at Belvoir will not clean or sanitize them for use. They are investigating what cleaning procedures will need to be accomplished once they are able to reopen the areas and will address prior to announcing their reopening.
See the Villages at Belvoir's latest updates on their Facebook page here.
During a pandemic health crisis, can an agency require a telework-eligible employee to work from home without a telework agreement? Can agency also require an employee who has not been previously designated as telework-eligible to work from home?
Yes. The regulations at 5 CFR 550.409(a) allow an agency to order one or more employees to evacuate from their worksite and perform work from their home (or an alternative location mutually agreeable to the agency and the employee as a safe haven) during a pandemic health crisis without regard to whether the agency and the employee have a telework agreement in place at the time the order to evacuate is issued. An evacuated employee at a safe haven may be assigned to perform any work considered necessary or required to be performed during the period of evacuation without regard to his or her grade, level, or title. The employee must have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the assigned work.
The local school system has closed during a pandemic health crisis; can an agency require an employee to work from home with his or her children present?
OPM evacuation payment regulations do not prohibit an evacuated employee from working from home during a pandemic health crisis with children in the home. An agency may direct an evacuated employee to either telework or request personal leave (e.g, annual leave, sick leave if applicable, or leave without pay) as necessary.
What form should an agency’s order to evacuate take?
An order to evacuate from an assigned non-foreign area can be made orally or in writing, including by email. (See the definition of “order to evacuate” in 5 CFR 550.402.)
If an agency directs telework under an evacuation order, are there any collective bargaining obligations?
There may be collective bargaining obligations. Since circumstances and facts will vary from organization to organization, each agency will need to evaluate its circumstances and make its own determination regarding any applicable collective bargaining obligations. Agencies are encouraged to review applicable collective bargaining agreement provisions to determine if the matter is already covered by the collective bargaining agreement. Agencies should be mindful that the President has declared a national emergency pursuant to section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5191(b), concerning the COVID-19 outbreak. Agencies should also consider guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (PDF file) which advises agencies to maximize telework across the nation for the Federal Workforce (including mandatory telework, if necessary), while maintaining mission-critical workforce needs. Finally, 5 U.S.C. 7106(a)(2) provides that an agency may “take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out the agency mission during emergencies” subject to 5 U.S.C. 7106(b)(2) and (b)(3). Agencies should consult with offices of human resources and general counsel to determine appropriate labor relations obligations as it relates to deciding what actions are needed to address the emergency in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 7106 and 22 U.S.C. 4105 (foreign service). If the agency needs to act quickly due to the circumstances of the emergency, the agency is strongly encouraged to begin communicating with the appropriate union representatives as soon as possible and otherwise satisfy any applicable collective bargaining obligations under the law at the earliest opportunity, including on a post implementation basis.
What type of work may an agency assign to an evacuated employee?
Under OPM regulations, an agency may assign any work considered necessary without regard to the employee's grade or title. However, an agency may not assign work to an employee unless the agency knows the employee has the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the assigned work.
If an evacuated employee is working from home and is unable to report to his or her regular official worksite at least twice each biweekly pay period, does the agency need to change the employee’s official worksite for purposes of location-based pay?
No. As provided in 5 CFR 531.605(d)(2)(ii), an authorized agency official may make an exception to the twice-in-a-pay period standard in appropriate situations, such as when an employee is affected by an emergency situation that temporarily prevents the employee from commuting to his or her regular official worksite For more information, please see the Official Worksite for Location-Based Pay Purposes Fact Sheet.
At what rate should agencies pay evacuated employees performing work at a safe haven (e.g., the employee’s home) due to a pandemic health crisis?
Employees who work at a safe haven (e.g., the employee’s home) during an evacuation due to a pandemic health crisis will be paid their normal rate of pay for the hours of work performed (including any applicable premium pay, allowances, differentials, or other authorized payments).
If an agency does not have work to assign to an evacuated employee, what pay status should the employee be placed?
If an agency does not have work to assign to an evacuated employee, the agency would provide weather and safety leave to that employee for affected hours.
If an employee evacuated from a non-foreign area is forced to incur additional costs due to working from home (e.g., purchasing a computer or internet service), may an agency provide payments to offset those expenses?
The agency head, in his or her sole and exclusive discretion, may grant special allowance payments, based on a case-by-case analysis, to offset the direct added expenses incidental to performing work from home (or an alternative location mutually agreeable to the agency and the employee) during a pandemic health crisis. (See 5 CFR 550.409(b).) An employee is not entitled to special allowance payments for increased costs during an evacuation unless specifically approved by the agency head.
Does an evacuated employee performing work during a pandemic health crisis need to use his or her accrued leave to take time off?
Yes. If an evacuated employee cannot perform assigned work during his or her tour of duty due to personal reasons, the employee is required to request leave or other time off. For example, if an evacuated employee who is performing work becomes ill, he or she will need to take sick leave or other time off to cover the absence
If the need to evacuate from a non-foreign area continues beyond 180-days, can the agency continue utilizing the evacuation pay authority to provide evacuation payments?
No. Evacuation payments may be made to cover a total of up to 180 calendar days (including the number of days for which payment has already been made) when employees continue to be prevented from performing their duties by an evacuation order. When feasible, evacuation payments must be paid on the employee's regular pay days.
How does the pandemic authority in the evacuation pay regulations relate to an agency’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)?
COOP supersedes any agency telework policy. This could include any agency telework policy established through the collective bargaining process under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 71. Thus, an agency is not bound by the telework policy developed under 5 U.S.C. 6502 while operating under a COOP. Under 5 U.S.C. 6504(d)(1), an agency COOP should address telework issues. Agencies should consult with offices of human resources and general counsel to determine appropriate labor relations obligations where bargaining unit employees are impacted.Also, under 5 CFR 550.409, during a pandemic emergency, an agency may direct employees to evacuate from (i.e., not report to) their normal worksite and perform work from their home (or an approved alternate telework location), without regard to whether the agency and the employee have a telework agreement. Thus, this provides an authority to adopt revised telework policies that supersede normal telework policies. Please consult with offices of human resources and general counsel to determine appropriate labor relations obligations where bargaining unit employees are impacted. See additional discussion on labor relations obligations under question (4). For maximum clarity, we recommend that the telework provisions of an agency COOP expressly address the use of the authority in section 550.409 to require telework in a pandemic emergency.Under normal conditions, weather and safety leave is available to employees who are not able to safely travel to or perform work at the normal worksite, if they are not telework program participants who are expected to telework at home or another approved location. A COOP plan and/or an agency action under 5 CFR 550.409 can allow for revised telework policies to maximize the use of telework during a pandemic emergency to support continuity of Government operations. Those revised telework policies may allow an agency to direct employees who have not been participating in an agency’s telework program to be designated as telework program participants. As such, they would not be prevented from safely working at an approved location and thus would generally not be eligible for weather and safety leave, since they are not prevented from safely working at an approved location (5 U.S.C. 6329c(b)).
Learn more at OPM's website here.
COVID-19 Military Personnel, Pay and Benefits
ALTERNATE PLACES OF DUTY AND TELEWORK
I am unable to report to duty with my unit because mywife has tested positive for COVID-19, and I was told to stay home. Will I begiven leave to care for her?
You should discuss this issue with your chain ofcommand, who may be able to provide you with options based upon your specificcircumstances. Potential options you may wish to discuss with them include:leave, designation of an alternate place of duty, and telework.
Why haven’t all military members been told to stayhome instead of coming in for duty?
The military must still perform all essentialmissions, but military commanders have been given guidance
Is telework an option for military members?Yes, telework-ready military members, who can performappropriate military duties remotely, may be assigned to an alternate dutylocation in their residence or government quarters. Military commanders willdetermine those members who can work remotely and assign appropriate duties.Not every military member is able to telework, and it is up to the discretionof each commander to determine how to effectively utilize telework. In certaincircumstances, you may be ordered to telework and will not be given the optionof reporting for duty at your regular duty location. You should check withchain of command for specific guidance on who is authorized to telework and whomust report for duty at the primary duty location.
I am unable to telework from home because my job is toperform maintenance on helicopters. What do I do if I am potentially exposed toCOVID-19 and need to stay home?
Members who are sick should notify the chain ofcommand and seek medical attention, as appropriate. The commander will make adecision whether or not to order you into restriction of movement forself-monitoring. An inability to perform traditional “telework” is not abarrier to complying with restriction of movement orders. Your commander hasauthority to assign you to an alternate place of duty, which could include yourresidence, during a period you are ordered to restriction of movement forself-monitoring.
FAMILY SEPARATION HOUSING
If my dependent is not authorized concurrent travel onmy PCS orders to my new duty station because of the travel restrictions, am Ieligible to receive a second basic allowance for housing allowance?
Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) at the new dutystation and Family Separation Housing Allowance (FSH) will be authorized if ALLof the following conditions are met: 1. Governmentquarters are not available at the new duty station.
2. Themember has obtained private-sector housing.
3. Thedependent does not reside at or near the new permanent duty station.
How much do I get if I am eligible for FamilySeparation Housing Allowance (FSH) in the U.S.?You will continue to receive Basic Allowance forHousing (BAH) at the “with-dependent” rate for your dependent’s location or theold permanent duty station (whichever is more equitable). Additionally, FSHwill be paid in a monthly amount equal to the “without-dependent” BAH rateapplicable to your paygrade for the new permanent duty station.
If my dependent visits me at my new duty station, willI continue to receive Family Separation Housing (FSH)?
Your FSH will continue uninterrupted while yourdependent visits at or near the new duty station, but the visit cannot exceed90 continuous days. If, for unforeseen reasons, such as illness or anotheremergency, a visit lasts 91 or more days, FSH stops at the end of the 90-dayperiod. FSH is authorized again on the day the dependent depart from thepermanent duty station. If one or more, but not all, dependents visit forlonger than 90 days and you are authorized a with-dependent housing allowanceon behalf of the dependents who are not visiting or do not reside in thevicinity of your PDS, then FSH will continue uninterrupted.
FAMILY SEPARATION ALLOWANCE (FSA)
I have been hospitalized at a medical facility near mypermanent duty station and near where my dependents live. I am unable to seethem. Am I eligible for Family Separation Allowance (FSA)?
No, unfortunately Family Separation Allowance (FSA) isnot authorized in this situation.
My command ordered me into restriction of movement forself-monitoring near my permanent duty station and I am unable to return to bewith my family even though we live nearby. Am I eligible for Family SeparationAllowance (FSA)?
No, unfortunately Family Separation Allowance (FSA) isnot authorized in this situation. You may be eligible for other benefits, suchas Hardship Duty Pay – Restriction of Movement (HDP-ROM) depending on where youare ordered to self-monitor (see Section 7).
I am away from my family on TDY and not allowed toreturn because of the stop movement order? I was receiving Family SeparationAllowance – Temporary (FSA-T). Will that continue?
Yes, FSA-T will continue until the TDY ends, as longas the total length of the separation is 30 days or more.
I am currently in the middle of a permanent change ofstation (PCS) move. As a result of the stop movement order, I am separated frommy dependents and expect to be separated from them for an extended period of time.Am I eligible for FSA?
Yes. Members who are separated during the PCS process,where a member is at the original or new duty location, but the dependents areat the other, should receive Family Separation Allowance – Restricted (FSA-R)if the directed separation lasts longer than 30 days. If the separation lastslonger than 30 days, FSA-R will start and will apply retroactively.
PER DIEM ALLOWANCES WHILE ISOLATED OR AWAITING TRAVEL
I was ordered in to self-monitoring after I returnedfrom official government travel. What benefits are available to me?
The Joint Travel Regulations (JTR) was updated toprovide guidance on per diem allowances that are impacted by COVID-19. Thiswebsite is a helpful source of information:
We are in the middle of a permanent change of station(PCS), but our travel was halted after I checked out of my command. How do Ipay for lodging and meals?You will likely be eligible for per diem whileawaiting transportation to cover lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. Youwill want to communicate with both your detaching command and your gainingcommand about your situation while awaiting travel.