Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

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...

Increased COVID Restrictions on the Pentagon Reservation

Article
9/8/2021
Military personnel wearing a face mask

Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test cases in the National Capital Region, the Pentagon Reservation will move to Health Protection Condition Bravo Plus (Bravo+)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

As Fitness Tests Resume, Troops Seek Post-COVID Exercise Routines

Article
8/31/2021
Military personnel physically training

Keeping fit during pandemic proves hard for some.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Force Fitness | Physical Fitness | Coronavirus

Digital health innovation emerges during COVID-19 pandemic

Article
8/31/2021
The Defense Health Agency’s Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic. (Graphic courtesy of DHA Connected Health)

The DHA's Connected Health Branch was there to support, advise, and deliver new health innovations throughout the pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Connected Health | Coronavirus

Secretary of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Article
8/26/2021
An Army medic administers the COVID-19 vaccine to another soldier.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III yesterday issued a memorandum directing mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for service members.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

DOD Intends to Mandate Pfizer Vaccine, Pentagon Official Says

Article
8/25/2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby holds a press briefing, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Kirby said the health of DOD's military and civilian employees, families and communities is a top priority.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Maintaining Mission Readiness During a Pandemic

Article
8/24/2021
Gen. Place presents at HIMSS in Las Vegas.

DHA Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place discussed the national security implications of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus | Deployment Health

Reform, COVID-19 Have Been Catalysts for Change in Military Medicine

Article
8/16/2021
Dr. Terry Adirim speaking to an audience at a conference

Healthcare is about taking care of people, so no amount of change or innovation is ever sufficient if modernization does not lead to helping patients, says acting ASDHA at HIMSS21 in Las Vegas.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Military Health System Transformation

Don't Hesitate: Vaccinate Today for School

Article
8/13/2021
A boy gets the COVID-19 vaccine

Back to School Means Vaccine Time

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Vaccine Recommendations | Children's Health | Immunizations | TRICARE Health Program

Services Will Make Call on Religious Exemptions to COVID-19 Vaccines

Article
8/13/2021
Two medical people prepare syringes with doses of the COVID-19 vaccine

"There is a religious exemption possibility for any mandatory vaccine, and there's a process that we go through to counsel the individual both from a medical and from a command perspective about using a religious exemption," Kirby said.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Austin Seeks Presidential Approval for Mandatory Troop Vaccinations by Mid-September

Article
8/10/2021
Sailors receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine will be mandatory for service members by mid-September, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said in a message to the force released yesterday.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Top Military Medical Doctor Predicts Coronavirus Longevity

Article
8/9/2021
Army Lt. Gen. Ronald J. Place, director of Defense Health Agency, delivers remarks at a media briefing on COVID-19 at the Pentagon, April 21, 2021

I believe we will get to a place where we're not talking about COVID all the time

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Senior Medical Leaders Discuss COVID-19 Response

Article
8/6/2021
Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald J. Place, director of the Defense Health Agency making remarks

The keys to tackling the emerging COVID-19 pandemic were to quickly develop a comprehensive understanding of the virus, and then put a plan in place to fight it, says DHA Director.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus

Debunking Anti-Vaccine Myths with Scientific Facts

Article
8/5/2021
A soldier gets a shot in the arm.

Get the facts: Myths on why not to get COVID-19 vaccination debunked by science

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Plan your Float: Boating Safety Tips from the Coast Guard

Article
8/2/2021
Military personnel conducting boating safety patrols

Have a “Float Plan,” the Coast Guard says, when boating recreationally.

Recommended Content:

Summer Safety | Summer Safety Toolkit

COVID-19 Vaccines: Benefits Still Outweigh the Risks

Article
7/30/2021
Military personnel getting vaccinated

Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections are extremely rare, DHA’s Place says

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 16 - 30 Page 2 of 27

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.