DVIDS – News – Pre-Travel COVID-19 Testing Begins onboard CFAS

A new COVID-19 preventative measure has been introduced by the Department of Defense (DOD) in an effort to mitigate the further spread of the novel coronavirus to the U.S. via travelers from overseas locations.

U.S. Naval Hospital Yokosuka/Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Command, Branch Health Clinic/Navy Medicine Readiness and Training Unit (BHC/NMRTU) Sasebo staff began administering COVID-19 pre-travel testing onboard Commander, Fleet Activities Sasebo Jan. 25, 2021.

The testing service is available at the Branch Health Clinic located on Main Base Monday through Friday for all personnel aged two years or older requiring documentation of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of boarding an international flight to the U.S.

“Today we have started providing COVID-19 pre-travel testing,” said Lt. Arnel Duvet, CFAS’ environmental health officer. “It is required by the DOD for all active duty members traveling on orders to the U.S. and per the Center for Disease Control that any American citizen getting on a plane going back to the U.S. must have a negative COVID-19 test.”

Once patients have been swabbed, results are ready in approximately 30 minutes. Due to the rapid turnaround time, participants are encouraged to wait on site until the results are ready. Upon completion of the test, a memorandum with the results certified by BHC medical staff is issued as proof of a negative test result. If the test produces a positive result, the individual will be given specific instructions on site to receive further care.

“My flight is on Wednesday, so I have to take the test,” said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Jaren Carrasco, a patient on-site. “I’m glad that CFAS was able to put all of this together so that I’m able to get everything set up to continue on with my orders.”

The first day of testing provided numerous members of the base community with the required documentation to proceed with their international travel. Although the test results satisfy DOD requirements, the antigen test that is used is not 100% sensitive, especially in asymptomatic individuals, so travelers are still recommended to practice standard preventive measures such as proper mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing to the extent possible.

“So far we’ve had a good reception and I feel good that people are coming to get tested,” said Duvet. “It’s a whole clinic effort, so we have people from preventive medicine, dental, primary care, and admin helping, and I would like to thank them for their time.”

Date Taken: 01.25.2021
Date Posted: 01.25.2021 04:55
Story ID: 387486

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