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...

Defending the Homeland: Army 2nd Lt. first to donate convalescent plasma at Benning

Article
6/24/2020
Soldier in chair, giving blood

Convalescent plasma contains antibodies to fight the disease.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program

DHA’s new MEDLOG IT PMO supports MHS logistics

Article
6/23/2020
Soldiers loading boxes onto helicopter

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the MEDLOG IT PMO provided essential medical logistics IT and supply chain support across the MHS and Department of Defense.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Solution Delivery Division

Tackling mosquitos to protect the force

Article
6/23/2020
Man emptying bag into a helicopter spreader

Mosquitoes transmit a host of woes but not COVID-19

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Bug-Borne Illnesses | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Understanding the potential of COVID-19 convalescent plasma

Article
6/19/2020
Researcher scans a unit of plasma in lab.

Researchers are harnessing the power of antibodies in COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Convalescent Plasma Collection Program | Armed Services Blood Program

Proper hydration enhances warrior fitness

Article
6/17/2020
Soldier drinking from a water bottle

Learn the danger signals of dehydration

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | Total Force Fitness

Public Health Emergency Officers balance risk and mission during crisis

Article
6/17/2020
Military personnel packing sanitizing products

PHEOs are military treatment facility staff who are designated to serve as a resource to help guide installation commanders during a large scale public health incident.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

Teleteaching during the pandemic? USU center seeks educators' stories

Article
6/16/2020
Man wearing headphones in front of two monitors and keyboard

Educators faced juggling act on front lines, home front

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DOD's Health Care Chief Discusses Pivot to Counter COVID-19

Article
6/16/2020
Healthcare workers applauding departing soldiers

"[O]ur uniform leaders and our civilians are very, very good at adapting to change..."

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Naval Medical Research Center Supports Marine Recruits During Pandemic

Article
6/15/2020
Soldiers wearing masks

The primary focus of the research...is to maintain maximum health while meeting graduation standards and requirements for recruits during the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

METC celebrates 10 years training enlisted medical force

Article
6/15/2020
Students standing in auditorium

When the Department of Defense’s 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission directed nearly all enlisted medical training be collocated at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, it may have unknowingly changed the landscape of enlisted medical training for the foreseeable future. In addition to collocating, the BRAC legislation also called for training to be consolidated where possible, meaning two or more services would share curriculum and classrooms.

Recommended Content:

About | Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: Secretary of the Army recognizes BACH and 531st COVID-19 support

Article
6/15/2020
Two soldiers in masks elbow bumping

McCarthy took time to recognize several Soldiers and a Department of the Army Civilian for their efforts in the Army’s COVID-19 response.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

MHS Beneficiaries Turn to Online Resources to Manage Personal Care During Pandemic

Article
6/12/2020
Man sitting in front of laptop

The TOL PP team added several COVID-19-related enhancements to the portal.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

DHA AI 3020.01: Return to the Workplace Staffing Plan in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Environment

Policy

This Defense Health Agency-Administrative Instruction (DHA-AI), establishes the Defense Health Agency’s (DHA) plan to return to full operations and support the whole-of-government response, during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and in preparation for regression or resurgence in COVID-19 cases that could impact the workforce.

  • Identification #: DHA AI 3020.01
  • Date: 6/12/2020
  • Type: Administrative Instructions
  • Topics: Coronavirus

Defending the Homeland: Air Force International Health Specialists bring experience to pandemic response

Article
6/12/2020
Two men in masks...one in military uniform, the other casually dressed

Stepping out of your comfort zone and being part of the larger DOD mission is crucial to grow as a military medic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Engagement

Coming together during a pandemic to provide life-giving blood.

Article
6/11/2020
Service member gives blood while wearing a mask.

Service members step up as blood drives adapt to COVID-19 guidelines

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Armed Services Blood Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 17

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.