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Navy increasing health protection measures on installations to fight COVID 19

03/23/20 11:41 AM

From Commander, Navy Installations Command Public Affairs

WASHINGTON (NNS) -- As part of the Navy’s efforts to minimize the spread of Coronavirus, U.S. Fleet Forces Command has elevated its health protection measures to HPCON C (MINUS) for Navy installations in the 48 contiguous U.S. States and Alaska March 20.

Navy installations will continue to maintain fleet essential services such as security, port operations, air operations and emergency management through all HPCON levels.

HPCON C coincides with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning level 3, which indicates sustained community transmission. Most installations and Navy commands are already implementing the measures formalized by HPCON C (MINUS), such as strict hygiene (no handshaking, wipe common-use items); social distancing, postponing/cancelling non-essential activities, and avoiding large groups of more than 10 people.  If exposed, consult medical personnel and implement self-isolation per CDC guidelines.

The Navy is using alternate delivery methods for many of our services to safeguard our ability to continue to defend the homeland. For example, we are leveraging technology for services that can be provided by phone or teleconference.  For services that must conducted in person, we are prioritizing mission essential functions by enforcing social distancing, emphasis on cleanliness, and protecting our personnel and at risk population.

The Navy’s focus is three-fold: We must protect our people; maintain mission readiness; and support the whole-of-government effort.

The following new measures take effect immediately:

  • Cancel unit and installation sponsored events and large public gatherings on installations.
  • Issue instructions to personnel to avoid large public gatherings and practice social distancing.
  • Maximize telework plans for telework ready employees.
  • Continue to approve leave and travel to and from the area on a case-by-case basis.
  • Coordinate with state and local authorities to synchronize in-garrison self-monitoring guidance for personnel returning from higher risk locations.
  • Assess travelers, in accordance with current guidance, upon arrival from other areas and inform them of any local monitoring and movement expectations.
  • Evaluate operations at visitor control centers: utilize electronic means to the maximum extent possible to grant installation access. Discontinue waiting room utilization if social distancing cannot be maintained. If necessary, direct customers to secondary holding areas until called.
  • All commands coordinate with contractors, vendors, delivery services, etc., to ensure their personnel are not performing services while sick or symptomatic
  • Every effort to limit COVID-19 exposure to the workforce should be implemented while balancing the mission requirements established by local commanders

The Department of Defense HPCON framework provides recommended force health protection guidance to safeguard personnel and promote mission assurance. The HPCON framework is:

HPCON 0: Routine: Normal operations. Maintain standard precautions such as routine hand washing, cough on sleeve, good diet, exercise, vaccinations, education, routine health alerts, and regular preparedness activities

HPCON A: Limited: Health Alert. Communicate risk and symptoms of health threat to installation; review plans and verify training, stocks, and posture; prepare to diagnose, isolate, and report new cases

HPCON B: Moderate: Strict hygiene (no handshaking, wipe common-use items); if exposed, self-isolate (wear mask or remain home); avoid contaminated water/food or risk area; vector control if applicable

HPCON C: Substantial: Social distancing (limit or cancel in-person meetings, gatherings, temporary duty assignments); shelter in-place indoors; utilize respirators; mass distribution of medical counter measures.

HPCON D: Severe: Restriction of movement (e.g., quarantine).

HPCON C (MINUS) implements all actions of HPCON A and B and many elements of HPCON C.  At this time, base remain open and the Navy is not conducting medical screenings at entry control points.

CNIC oversees 10 regions and 71 installations located throughout the world that sustain the fleet, enable warfighters and support families.