Fort Drum Medical Activity provides back to school guidance during COVID-19

FORT DRUM, NY – The Fort Drum Medical Activity (MEDDAC) advises TRICARE beneficiary parents to avoid sending children to school if they’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath.

Instead, parents should contact the MEDDAC appointment line at (315) 772-2778 to request their child be screened for COVID-19.

In the event a child is sent home from school, TRICARE parents should first contact the MEDDAC appointment line to request a screening.  At that time, call center representatives will connect the parent with a triage nurse to evaluate their child’s symptoms.  The nurse will determine if the child’s symptoms meet the Department of Defense and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s clinical requirements for COVID-19 testing.

Children who meet COVID-19 testing requirements will be directed to the Guthrie Army Medical Home drive-through screening site where MEDDAC staff will administer the test and provide educational materials on quarantine procedures and management of symptoms.  The triage nurse will also schedule a virtual or face-to-face appointment with a provider.

For beneficiaries who do not require a COVID-19 test, the MEDDAC triage nurse will provide information on managing symptoms at home.  Once the child is no longer symptomatic, parents can call the appointment line to receive a medical clearance note and additional information.  Information and documents can be sent electronically via TRICARE Secure Messaging.

“No one who meets the clinical requirements for a COVID-19 test will be denied a test,” said Col. Rob Heath, the MEDDAC commander and Fort Drum’s senior medical officer.  “It is our intent to ensure every child seen at the MEDDAC is properly cared for and can return to school safely.”

The Fort Drum MEDDAC understands there may be times when a child who does not meet the clinical requirements for testing will still require a negative COVID-19 test result to return to school.  In those cases, TRICARE beneficiaries can receive a COVID-19 test at one of many local, off-post TRICARE-authorized testing sites, free of cost.

Martin’s Point beneficiaries should contact their provider or call (315) 785-5467 to determine screening and testing requirements for children.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to enroll in TRICARE secure messaging to connect directly with their provider and to receive documents and additional information.  To sign up, go to https://app.tolsecuremessaging.com/.

For more information on the COVID-19 return to school process and TRICARE-authorized local COVID-19 testing sites, go to the MEDDAC COVID-19 update page at https://guthrie.tricare.mil/Health-Services/COVID-19-Update.