Close-quarters ships are no place for a fast-spreading virus. You can imagine how quickly diseases move when a large group of people is gathered in one place for a long time. To prevent this scenario from playing out, the United States Navy, and, more specifically, the Military Sealift Command, can impose a Restriction of Movement (ROM) on its workers to promote the health and safety of everyone on board.
ROM is essential in ensuring that all personnel boarding a ship are healthy and ready to work without endangering their fellow crew members.
What Is ROM Quarantine?
From a general perspective, Restriction of Movement is a Department of Defense term that refers to limiting a person’s movements to ensure public health, safety and welfare. It includes quarantine, isolation and sequestering.
In terms of the novel Coronavirus outbreak, ROM quarantine requires specific personnel, such as civilian mariners, to stay in place for two weeks before boarding a ship to commence work. This two-week period covers the current suggestions from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) of a 10-day isolation period.
During ROM quarantine, civilian mariners are expected to follow several rules typical of isolation, such as:
- Taking temperatures.
- Using a private vehicle as transit to the work site.
- Watching for any symptoms.
- Wearing masks and social distancing during any necessary outings.
Depending on the position and requirements set forth, these steps might look different for each person.
Many choose to stay in hotels or other out-of-home accommodations to limit exposure to family members. In these instances, they should not use housekeeping services and must maintain appropriate social distancing practices if leaving the room.
While ROM isn’t a particularly enjoyable part of the job, it is essential to keeping everyone on the ship safe. Whether a person needs to conduct an ROM quarantine is generally determined via a risk-based screening.
What Is Military Sealift Command?
Military Sealift Command is a part of the U.S. Navy that controls replenishment and provides sealift and ocean transport for the military, as well as other government agencies. It helps provide logistics to military and government ships anywhere in the world.
This large operation of the Military Sealift Command runs on ships crewed by civilian mariners, who are federal civil service employees. They might replenish U.S. Navy ships, move military cargo and supplies, and conduct specialized missions, among other tasks.
How Is ROM Affecting Military Sealift Command?
Military Sealift Command involves a wide range of civilian mariners who perform various jobs. Some may step ashore more than others, and ROM can be a limiting factor to their lives. Many civilian mariners have to stay on a ship, even if their residence and family are close by, to avoid an unnecessary 14-day quarantine.
Even if a Military Sealift Command ROM quarantine isn’t particularly common, it is something these civilian mariners must be aware of as they prepare for deployment. Other people affected within Military Sealift Command are contractors and service members.
Accommodations for ROM Quarantine
One way to add a layer of control over the quarantine period is to set up accommodations at one location, such as a hotel. Our MITAGS East Campus in Baltimore is open for lodging and maintains strict cleaning and virus prevention procedures. Learn more about staying with us during quarantine periods.