U.S. Navy Issues Updated Guidance to Commanders On Adjusting Health Protection Conditions and Base Services During COVID-19 Pandemic

03 May 2021
The Navy issued updated guidance to commanders on adjusting health protection conditions (HPCON) and base services during the COVID-19 pandemic with NAVADMIN 086/21 April 30.

The latest guidance updates the previously issued guidance to commanders on adjusting HPCON and base services and introduces the Department of Defense-directed HPCON framework, which provides HPCON implementation governance, gating criteria, occupancy limitations and the Navy waiver process for occupancy levels.

This NAVADMIN incorporates the expanded HPCON framework implemented across the DOD in response to COVID-19, to include a HPCON Bravo-Plus (B+) level. Several fundamental protective actions are common to most levels, such as the mask-wearing requirement, while other actions become more rigorous as the HPCON level rises from A through D. 

“This update continues to build on what we have learned about combatting COVID-19 while still maximizing our operational readiness.” said Vice Admiral Phil Sawyer, the Navy’s operations chief in charge of coordinating the service’s response to COVID-19. “I expect we will continue to improve services available for our Sailors and their families while protecting the force as the number of personnel vaccinated grows. The key is for everyone that is eligible to get vaccinated.”

Immunized sailors will be subject to individual restrictions no higher than those corresponding to HPCON B, regardless of the HPCON status of the installation to which they are assigned.

Table 1 of the DOD memo dated April 29, 2021 defines the following Force Health Protection (FHP) actions by HPCON level for the COVID-19 pandemic:

HPCON D: Widespread community transmission. Daily average of more than 60 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days (>421 cumulative new cases per 100,000 population in last 7 days) and no decline in cases or a decline of new cases of less than 7 days.

HPCON C: Sustained community transmission. Daily average of 31-60 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days (211-420 cumulative new cases per 100,000 population in last 7 days).

HPCON B+: Elevated community transmission. Daily average of 16-30 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days (110 - 210 cumulative new cases per 100,000 population in last 7 days).

HPCON B: Increased community transmission. Daily average of 2-15 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days (14-109 cumulative new cases per 100,000 population in last 7 days).

HPCON A: Minimal community transmission. Daily average of less than 2 new cases per 100,000 population in the last 7 days (<14 cumulative new cases per 100,000 population in last 7 days).

HPCON 0: COVID-19 global pandemic declaration rescinded. Return to normal operations criteria will be addressed in updates to FHP supplements. 

The DOD memo also limits the number of personnel in the workplace by maximizing remote work, flexible scheduling, and other methods, synchronized with the HPCON level. Directed occupancy rates for HPCON levels are:

HPCON A: Less than 100% of normal occupancy in the workplace.

HPCON B: Less than 50% of normal occupancy in the workplace.

HPCON B+: Less than 40% of normal occupancy in the workplace.

HPCON C: Less than 25% of normal occupancy in the workplace.

HPCON D: Less than 15% of normal occupancy in the workplace.

Military commanders will continue to consider the risk to personnel and risk to the military mission and readiness when making decisions. FHP measures will be balanced with federal, host nation, state, and local directives. Rapid adaptation to local conditions and creative risk mitigation plans are key to achieving a force hardened against the pandemic.

For the latest updates on Navy COVID guidance, please visit: https://www.navy.mil/US-Navy-COVID-19-Updates/

For NAVADMIN 086/ 21 Click HERE

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