Back to Top Skip to main content

Summer PCS plans altered by COVID-19

Man wearing mask loading boxes into a car The United States Transportation Command released guidance for moving companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Movers have been directed to wear face coverings like the above photo, minimize the number of personnel required to move families, and equip themselves to clean surfaces they frequently touch during a move. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. David W. Carbajal)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Summer Safety

Service members move from location to location as part of the military lifestyle. Families have to juggle multiple tasks during a permanent change in station, or PCS, from the physical task of moving belongings to the paperwork involved with switching medical providers. The national emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic introduced families to new PCS complications. Beneficiaries throughout the Military Health System are encouraged to take measures to protect their wellness while moving.

Molly Grasso had moved multiple times with her military husband, currently stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. However, the stop movement order issued for the military in March meant she and her children would make a recent move to Portsmouth, Virginia, without his help.

“It’s been a lot more moving parts,” Grasso said. “With selling our home, buying a new one, and moving all of the kids.”

With the pandemic creating a new obstacle in an already difficult situation, Grasso and her family made adjustments to their PCS routine. The family packed most of their belongings themselves to reduce the amount of time strangers are in the home. The family also hired a moving company that required their staff be tested for the novel coronavirus and report any symptoms that may arise. Face masks were also mandatory for all their moving staff.

These practices line up with guidance released by the United States Transportation Command to help families move during the pandemic. Moving companies attached to the United States Transportation Command have been directed to wear face coverings, minimize the number of personnel required to move families, and equip themselves to clean surfaces they frequently touch during a move.

The guidance also encourages family members who aren’t required to be present during a move to vacate the home during the packing or delivery process. Families that cannot vacate should prepare a dedicated room for family members to remain while movers are packing and loading.

Grasso said that her “quaran-team” made this part easy, as her mother-in-law lived close by and was quarantining with the family. Grasso was able to leave her children at her mother-in-law’s house while the movers were working to prevent possible exposure.

“We really had to make some tough decisions,” Grasso said, “We talked about our risks and decided to let my mother-in-law into the circle because I don't know how we would have done it without her.”

Army Col. Tracy Michael, commander of the Fort Meade Medical Activity at Fort Meade, Maryland, used similar guidance during his recent move within the state of Virginia. Michael prepackaged his belongings to minimize the amount of time movers would be in the home. Michael also emphasized sanitizing surfaces and hands during the move to cleanse frequently touched surfaces.

“We made sure we had wipes and hand-washing materials so the folks that were in and out had the ability to clean their hands as they touch surfaces,” Michael said. “We also made sure that there were cleaning products in the house both for personal hygiene and wiping down areas like banisters and railings that were touched a lot.”

Social distancing was one of Michael’s priorities for his own move, and he suggests the same for other families moving either within their state or crossing state lines.

“People are going to be traveling through multiple areas or states if they're driving, or they’ll come in contact with people from different locations if they’re flying,” Michael said. “The prevalence of COVID-19 is different from location to location, so I think the one thing that we can all do is to maintain social distancing. Additionally, continue to wear our masks, continue to wash our hands, and continue to wipe down surfaces. Those are some of the best steps we can take to protect ourselves and our families.”

Grasso agreed with the need for a plan ahead of time. Aspects like finding a new medical provider or buying a house are being handled virtually for a lot of families like Michael’s and Grasso’s, but a solid plan helps anticipate any complications that may come up during the move.

“Think through all of the moving parts that you can and try to make a good plan on how to keep yourself and your family safe,” Grasso said. “I really relied on the military spouse network to ask for recommendations for providers, but we made sure we were up-to-date on all of our kids shot records and everything before we left, which would give us a little bit of time to get settled.”

Families are encouraged to make the best decisions for their safety during a PCS. Local chain of command and local transportation offices are willing to work with families to reschedule pack-outs or deliveries if they experience discomfort during their move. For more guidance on how to take proper safety precautions during a PCS move, visit Move.mil.

You also may be interested in...

Navy PA continues to care for COVID-19 caregivers

Article
11/19/2020
Three soldiers, wearing masks, demonstrating a hearing test

As a PAt, Osborn works hand-in-hand with supervising physicians and surgeons.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

NICoE & ISC Network maintain TBI care during COVID-19

Article
11/19/2020
Image of United States map with locations noted

The Network leveraged their geographic distribution to help each other quickly adapt to changing times.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Traumatic Brain Injury

San Antonio volunteers sought for Warp Speed vaccine trials

Article
11/18/2020
Woman typing on laptop

DOD sites are open on a voluntary basis to Military Health System beneficiaries.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus

Army combat medic earns U.S. citizenship, plans to continue serving

Article
11/18/2020
Two men wearing masks, one in a car, one leaning in the car

The native of Brazil is part of the COVID-19 testing team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Army doctors provide COVID-19 safety tips for the holiday season

Article
11/17/2020
Soldiers wearing masks, looking at flight information in airport

Celebrating the holidays during a pandemic may bring additional challenges for people this year.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | November Toolkit | November Holidays and Observances

Military Health System participating in COVID-19 vaccine trial

Article
11/17/2020
Woman measuring out a vaccine into a needle

How you can help test the vaccine.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DHA leaders recognize CCP collection campaign contributors & donors

Article
11/16/2020
Three military personnel in uniform, wearing masks, in front of flags

The ceremony honored those who contributed to exceeding the goal of collecting 10,000 units of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

NMRTU Everett staff collaborate to ensure Patient Centered Care

Article
11/16/2020
Image of two military personnel wearing masks

NMRTU Everett was commended by the MHS 2020 Advancement towards High Reliability Healthcare Awards Program as a Patient Centeredness Award winner.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Public Health | Coronavirus

Holiday Season Guidance to Minimize Spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019

Publication
11/16/2020

This memorandum provides guidance to help protect individuals within the DoD community from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) for gatherings and activities during the November to January holiday season.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Medical Forces Pacific’s commander tours NH Twentynine Palms

Article
11/12/2020
Four military personnel in uniform, wearing masks

Weber was briefed on the implementation of MHS GENESIS...and the hospital's response to COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Combat Support | Health Readiness | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

Forging of civil-military anvil against COVID-19 focus at GHSA

Article
11/9/2020
U.S. and Thai soldiers stand together during a medical exercise.

“Defense partnerships around the world are key.”

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement

Wave PENDLETON sees more MTFs deploy new electronic health record

Article
11/5/2020
Military technician, wearing a mask, in front of a computer screen

Wave PENDLETON is the third major deployment of MHS GENESIS.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | MHS GENESIS

BAMC, Argentine Army medical providers share COVID-19 best practices

Article
11/4/2020
Video teleconference image

U.S. Army South facilitated the virtual subject matter expert (SME) exchange between BAMC and CMMH.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Technology | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Public Health | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

How Can Vaccine and Antibody Studies Move So Quickly and Still Be Safe?

Video
11/3/2020
How Can Vaccine and Antibody Studies Move So Quickly and Still Be Safe?

This video provides a detailed overview of the processes that have been implemented to accelerate the pace of the COVID-19 vaccine and antibody studies, and what is being done to assure safety.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

The Importance of Enrolling Diverse Participants in COVID-19 Studies

Video
11/3/2020
The Importance of Enrolling Diverse Participants in COVID-19 Studies

This video discusses why enrolling diverse participants in COVID-19 studies is critical for ensuring that, when we find a vaccine, we have enough data from populations who are most affected by COVID-19 to determine vaccine safety and efficacy.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 22

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.