Federal Employees News Digest

DOD outlines COVID testing plan

The Pentagon hopes to test every active duty service member, including the National Guard and Reserves, by the summer starting with those in critical areas, such as nuclear and missile systems.

Air Force Gen. John Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters the Defense Department will begin shifting to a four-tiered testing system that prioritizes those in critical national capabilities areas.

Tier One, Hyten said, would focus on national defense, such as operating and fielding missiles and nuclear weapons. The second tier includes "engaged fielded forces around the world" while the third tier includes forward-deployed and redeploying forces. Tier Four will include the rest of the 1.4 million active duty forces, including the National Guard and Reserve.

The most at-risk forces, such as mobilized doctors and nurses, are considered Tier Zero, and would receive diagnostic testing first and as needed. Testing will coincide with social distancing, using face covers and quarantining.

Hyten said the department has already begun Tier One testing and expects to complete it by the end of April. Full testing of the rest of the forces is expected to finish by the summer, he said.

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