Frequently Asked Questions

USCG Specific Frequently Asked Questions

For additional coronavirus questions not covered in these FAQ or that your chain of command cannot answer, please e-mail OutbreakQuestions@uscg.mil. To ensure the most timely response, please identify yourself (i.e. military member, civilian, Auxiliarist, contractor, family member) in your e-mail inquiry. 

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CDC Guidance FAQs

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A1 Q: I may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. What should I do?

A: Military Personnel on active duty: (Contact the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273, option 1. You can also go to MHS Nurse Advice Line, or call your primary care clinic.
Reservists not on active duty: see questions A13 and A14
Civilians: Call your primary care clinic.
All: If your health care provider recommends that you self-isolate, then you must notify your command. Separate yourself from other people in your home/quarters and avoid sharing personal items. CDC provides information to people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or being evaluated for, COVID-19: Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus .

 

A2 Q: I’m experiencing flu-like symptoms. I have a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. What should I do? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A: Flu, pneumonia, and COVID can present very similarly. These infections range from mild to severe, with some people requiring ventilator support while others never have any symptoms at all. People may be contagious prior to showing any symptoms. The CDC's Symptom Checker tool can help you decide if you need medical care.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, coughs, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and/or diarrhea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Notify your command or supervisor.
  • Call – do NOT visit – your primary care manager/provider, the nearest CG clinic or emergency room.
  • Follow your healthcare provider’s directions.
  • Remain in your home or quarters unless directed otherwise.

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.

A3 Q: My employee seems to have a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath. What should I do? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A: Follow the Coast Guard COVID-19 Risk Assessment Flowchart for guidance.

 

A4 (formerly D3) Q: What should I do if my doctor tells me to self-isolate or quarantine?

A: Notify your chain of command/supervisor, and change your status in CGPAAS to Quarantined.

Quarantine for 14 days and do not come in to your CG workspace.

If you display COVID symptoms, notify your doctor or primary care manager.

 

A5 (formerly D4) Q: What should I do if I need to care for a close family member required to self-isolate or quarantine?

A: Civilians: If you are diagnosed as being infected, or likely infected, with a quarantinable communicable disease, such as COVID-19, you are entitled to take accrued or advanced sick leave. Advanced leave is capped at 240 hours. If you exhaust your available sick leave, you can use other paid leave or paid time off. You may consider applying for donating leave under the Voluntary Leave Donation Program. You may also telework from home, under a voluntary telework agreement. If you have any questions, consult your supervisor or servicing HR Specialist: Servicing Assignment Representative
Military Personnel: Follow your Medical Officer/health care provider’s recommendations and directions. Inform your command immediately. In most cases your command will place you on sick leave.

 

A6 (formerly A27) Q: How can I find a COVID-19 testing site? *Updated 4/28/2020*

A: This GIS Corps app provides one way to locate the COVID-19 testing site nearest you. You can enter your address and see all testing sites within a five-mile radius. The GIS Corps is a private organization that has crowdsourced information from local governments and healthcare providers. It is not authoritative. The Coast Guard is providing this link as a potential resource, and has not verified or endorsed the information it contains. Please contact local testing sites directly to confirm this information, or contact your servicing medical provider for guidance.

 

A8 Q: What is the Coast Guard doing to help medical providers care for patients despite social distancing?

A: Healthcare providers are now allowed to use popular video chat applications like Skype for Business, Updox, and Zoom for Healthcare to communicate with patients. Members may use personally owned devices for telemedicine with their health care providers. Medical personnel cannot use personal devices, and VTC public facing platforms must be HIPPA compliant. For additional information read ALCOAST 096/20 .

Personnel may also use the following non-HIPAA compliant private facing applications for telehealth services during the COVID-19 national public health emergency: Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, or Skype (preferred). Personnel shall not use public facing applications, such as Facebook Live, Twitch, and TikTok.

 

A9 Q: What if I believe I have been exposed to someone who was later diagnosed with COVID-19? 

A: Civilians: Contact call your primary care clinic. If your health care provider recommends that you self-isolate, then you must notify your command. Separate yourself from other people in your home and avoid sharing personal items. CDC provides information to people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or is being evaluated for, COVID-19: Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus .

Military Personnel: Contact the Military Health System Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-874-2273, Option 1. You can also go to MHS Nurse Advice Line , or call your primary care clinic. If your health care provider recommends that you self-isolate, then you must notify your command. Separate yourself from other people in your home and avoid sharing personal items. CDC provides information to people who have had close contact with a person confirmed to have, or is being evaluated for, COVID-19: Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus . If you were scheduled to perform IDT/ADT during the period of self-isolation, work with your command to reschedule those drills.

 

A10 Q. When may the Coast Guard take the body temperature of employees coming into the workplace during the COVID19 pandemic? *Updated 6/19/2020*

A. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) confirmed that measuring employee’s body temperature is permissible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If temperature screening is performed, Commands will need to identify the local procedures required to measure employees’ body temperature. However, Commands should be aware that some people with COVID-19 may not have a fever.

 

A11 Q. Does EEO law allow supervisors to require employees to stay home if they have COVID-19 symptoms?

A. Yes. The CDC states that employees who become ill with symptoms of COVID-19 must leave the workplace. EEO law does not interfere with employers following this advice.

 

A12 Q. When employees return to work after recovering from COVID-19, may supervisors require doctors' notes certifying their fitness for duty?

A. Yes. Such inquiries are permitted under EEO law. The Coast Guard could require a fitness-for-duty evaluation if a supervisor was concerned that the illness wasn’t fully resolved or had questions about the employee’s ability to perform their work after recovery from COVID-19.

 

A13 (formerly F15) Q: I’m a reservist. What if I am exposed to COVID-19 or exhibit symptoms while in a qualified duty status, including while traveling to or from duty?

A: Reservists on orders greater than 30 days are TRICARE eligible and should seek care at a military treatment facility or through the TRICARE network. Members on orders less than 30 days (e.g., IDT, ADT-AT) should follow the CDC recommendations, and contact their civilian health care provider. Once your immediate care is complete, notify your command and work with them to take the appropriate steps to continue care or return to duty. The member should discuss with the command the requirement to initiate the Line Of Duty (LOD) determination process. See F16 and F17 for more information on the LOD process.  

 

A14 (F16) Q: What if I am now home but believe I may have been exposed to COVID-19 while on ADT/IDT? 

A: Reservists not in a military duty status who believe they have COVID-19 symptoms should follow the CDC recommendations and contact their civilian health care provider for guidance and contact their chain of command. If reservists not in a military duty status receive a positive test for COVID-19, they should contact their Command, and work with them to complete a Line of Duty Determination (LOD). A LOD determination is an administrative tool to determine whether a reservist was in a qualified duty status when an injury, illness, or disease was incurred or aggravated. An in-LOD determination is necessary to determine which benefits are eligible to the member. The LOD must specify ALL details, such as when you were exposed and when you found out.

The Reserve Policy Manual COMDTINST M1001.28 (series), Chapter 6 para. F, and the Administrative Investigations Manual COMDTINST M5830.1 (series), Chapter 7, provide guidance on procedures to follow for both commands and reservists.