COVID Guidance

What to do if you're a TRICARE beneficiary

Simple measures can protect you and your community. It’s also important to identify the symptoms of COVID-19 and know when to seek help. COVID-19 affects people in different ways. Infected people have reported a wide range of symptoms–from mild symptoms to severe illness. Do you think you may have COVID-19? Check your symptoms here



How does COVID-19 spread?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 spreads person-to-person, generally between people within 6 feet from one another. It also spreads through respiratory droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. These droplets can reach the noses, mouths, or lungs of nearby people. It’s possible that the virus can spread from contact with infected surfaces, but this isn’t the main way the virus spreads.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Seek emergency medical attention if you show these signs for symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Bluish lips or face

This list is not all possible symptoms. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Call 911 or call ahead to your local emergency facility: Notify the operator that you are seeking care for someone who has or may have COVID-19. View this information on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

When is the disease most contagious?

Although some spread appears to be possible before people show symptoms, people with COVID-19 are the most contagious when they’re very sick. Some spread may be possible before people show symptoms. That’s why you should stay home if you believe you’re experiencing any virus-like symptoms.

What should I do if I feel sick or think I was exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been in close contact with a person sick with COVID-19, or traveled to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, don’t make an appointment or walk into your local military hospital or clinic. Instead, stay at home and speak with a Military Health System (MHS) registered nurse, who will assess your symptoms. The nurse can screen you for potential or suspected exposure or infection. If needed, they can coordinate a virtual visit with a health care provider.

Why should I get the vaccine?

According to the CDC, a COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool in stopping the pandemic. It’s an effective way to lower your risk of contracting COVID-19. And it may help keep you from getting seriously ill if you do catch the virus. Compared to other variants, the Delta variant is more transmissible. Because of its highly transmissible nature, unvaccinated individuals are more likely to have severe disease and be hospitalized.

Getting vaccinated also protects the health of the people around you—especially those who are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

What can I do now?

It's still important to follow CDC guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you'll be.

Still have questions?

 

 

Articles

Department of Defense (DoD) officials are closely monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus. DoD is coordinating with interagency partners to ensure accurate and timely information is available and encourage all appropriate measures are taken to limit the virus' spread.

Need a COVID-19 Test? Here's What You Need to Know

Covid testing sign 

Department of Defense Mandates COVID-19 Vaccinations for Service Members

Service member administers COVID-19 vaccine to another service member 

Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Variants

Service member prepares COVID-19 vaccine supplies 

Monoclonal Antibodies Available to Treat Eligible High-Risk COVID-19 Patients

COVID-19 patient gets treatment 

Building COVID-19 Vaccine Trust: Myths vs. Facts

Portrait of service member with mask 

TRICARE Beneficiaries Ages 12 and Older Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

Service member gives COVID-19 vaccine to child sitting in car 

TRICARE-Videos Livestream - March 9th, 2021 >> More Videos
  • Livestream
TRICARE-Videos LTG Place on Vaccine Importance >> More Videos
  • LTG Place presents his concerns over those who are still unvaccinated during these unprecedented times. Take the right steps to prevent tragedy befalling your family and schedule your vaccine today at https://tricare.mil/vaccineappointments
TRICARE-Videos Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers COVID-19 Vaccine message >> More Videos
  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III delivers COVID-19 Vaccine message
TRICARE-Videos What You Need To Know About Handwashing >> More Videos
  • What You Need To Know About Handwashing

You may be able to use an online scheduling tool to book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a DoD vaccination site.

>>Learn more.

Looking to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine for your child, ages 12-15? Call first to make sure they have the vaccine you need.
There’s no cost for the COVID-19 vaccine itself. But there may be a cost based on your health plan for an office visit with a provider, or if you require follow-on care. >>Learn more
TRICARE covers the use of investigational drugs for the treatment of serious or life-threatening cases of COVID-19. These drugs don't apply to drugs given under the TRICARE Pharmacy Program. This coverage is temporary during the national health emergency due to the pandemic.
The three-day prior hospital stay requirement before a skilled nursing facility admission has been waived. This waiver is temporary during the national health emergency due to the pandemic.
At the time of posting, this information is current. Visit www.cdc.gov or TRICARE COVID Guidance for the most current COVID-19 information.

Last Updated 9/28/2021