Navy announces weekly COVID-19 tests for most unvaccinated sailors – .

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Navy announces weekly COVID-19 tests for most unvaccinated sailors – .


Sailors not vaccinated against COVID-19 must be tested at least once a week “when entering a DoD facility that includes the service member’s normal workplace,” according to a new administrative post from the Navy.

Site tests and self-tests are OK. The service said on-site testing should be available wherever possible, but self-test kits are approved in cases where on-site testing is not possible. The Navy will bear the cost of these tests and reimburse the sailors if they incur costs.

Testing for active-duty sailors began on November 28. For Naval Reserve sailors, testing will begin Dec. 28, once the command has the appropriate testing supplies, the Navy said.

Just because a sailor has received a negative COVID-19 test and is cleared to enter a workspace does not mean that the approval will be transferred to other facilities, the Navy said.

“Meeting the requirements for entering one facility or workspace does not guarantee entry into another facility or workspace without specific coordination and approval,” according to NAVADMIN.

However, exceptions exist for those who work remotely.

“Unvaccinated military personnel who work remotely full time, or who periodically perform duties in facilities or workspaces (less than a week), are not subject to weekly testing,” said NAVADMIN. “However, before entering a Navy facility or workspace, these service members must provide a negative result on a test taken within the previous 72 hours. “

The Navy defines a workspace as any place where official activities take place, but excludes areas such as the aft deck where testing could take place.

According to the service, 96.3% of active duty sailors and 94.9% of the total force are fully vaccinated, and 97.2% of active duty sailors and 96% of the total force have received at least one COVID vaccine. -19, according to updated figures. November 30.

Sailors on active duty had until November 14 to get their last dose of COVID-19 vaccine in order to meet the November 28 deadline for a full vaccination. Members of the Naval Reserve have until December 14 to meet the deadline for fully immunized status on December 28.

Sailors who fail to comply could face a range of administrative actions, including separation from service. The Navy’s COVID Consolidated Disposal Authority has been tasked with segregating sailors who do not comply with the mandatory vaccination policy and do not receive a medical or administrative exemption, such as a religious waiver.

So far, the service has issued seven permanent medical exemptions, 400 temporary medical exemptions and 134 administrative exemptions. Even so, the Navy approved zero religious waivers for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Unvaccinated seafarers who do not have an approved exemption could face repercussions such as loss of education benefits, promotions and bonuses.

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