COVID-19 May 3, 2021
HPCON B: NSF Beaufort, NAS JRB Fort Worth, NS Guantanamo Bay, NCBC Gulfport, NSB Kings Bay, NAS Kingsville, NAS Meridian, JRB New Orleans, NAS Pensacola, and NAS Whiting Field
BRAVO+: NAS Corpus Christi, NAS Jacksonville, NAS Key West, NS Mayport, NSA Mid-South, NSA Orlando and NSA Panama City
STATUS UPDATE #22
With the vaccine distribution ongoing and infection rates falling in many areas, installations have been approved to transition to Health Protection Condition BRAVO /BRAVO + (HPCON B/B+). While undoubtedly good news, lowering the HPCON level does not mean the Coronavirus is no longer a threat. Quite the contrary, increased social gathering, an uptick in non-secluded activities, and a decrease in vigilance could very easily result in a swift change back to Charlie.
As vaccination efforts continue, some communities reopened businesses to more activities. Navy personnel should be aware that the Navy’s measures, which apply to Navy personnel on and off base, might be different from state or county guidelines. It is essential that all personnel take personal responsibility to continue limiting the spread of the disease. Everyone must maintain vigilance in their individual protective behaviors both on and off base, including maintaining physical distancing, using face coverings, maintaining good hygiene, conducting medical screenings, and regular cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces.
The guidance that outlines the ability to transition HPCON levels was outlined in the April 29 Secretary of Defense Memorandum. Any decreases in health protection conditions at individual installations will take into account the following considerations:
Cases: Daily average of new cases per 100,000 people per day.
Cases: Sustained 2-week downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases in the local community; likewise, upward trajectories should be considered in determining whether to increase HPCON levels.
Cases: Downward trajectory in positive tests as a percentage of total tests over the preceding 7-day period supports a decision to reduce HPCON levels to the next lower level; likewise, upward trajectories should be considered in determining whether to increase HPCON levels.
Medical Facilities: MTFs or local hospitals have the capacity to treat all patients without situational standards of care. Information on local DoD and civilian
hospitals, including occupancy rates, is available on the Advana COVID-19 dashboard and indicators of hospital capacity are available here.
Changing HPCON levels is a risk-based decision that commanders make in consultation with medical leadership and in accordance with CDC guidance and public health data and local authorities. In addition, the Acting Secretary of the Navy, after consultation with the Navy Surgeon General, released ALNAV 032-21 which directed that individuals who are fully immunized against COVID will be subject to restrictions no higher than those corresponding to HPCON B.
The transition to HPCON B/B+ does not mean that the installation or surrounding community is safe from COVID. It only means that conditions on the installation and the surrounding area show favorable downward trends on transmission of the virus. Under B/B+, we will continue to encourage and exercise telework whenever possible and feasible, especially for people who are more susceptible to COVID-19 or those living with people who are. Under HPCON B/B+, we need to avoid false confidence, complacency and COVID “fatigue.” It is important to continue to follow local and installation health protection measures so that we can continue with our mission here in Navy Region Southeast.
Now that HPCON B/B+ has been approved in the Southeast Region, access to off-installation facilities and services will be restored to active duty personnel. That means authorized use of dine-in restaurants, malls, barber shops, local swimming pools and other services (see NAVNORTH EXORD 20-032 for the full list). Another recent change is the release from Restriction of Movement for fully immunized individuals. As per NAVADMIN 073/21, Restriction of Movement will no longer need to be performed before, during or after travel within the continental United States (CONUS) for those fully vaccinated, unless specifically directed. Lastly, even in HPCON B/B+, we will continue to follow the Secretary of Defense guidance in regards to wearing masks as posted in his February memo. Furthermore, all individuals on military installations and those performing official duties from any location other than the individual’s home will follow CDC guidance and practice physical distancing from other people, avoid touching the face, and frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
As the installations make the adjustments to transition to HPCON B/B+, ensure you monitor the social media pages for the base. That will be the most accurate and up-to-date information available. Keep up the great work. We aren’t there yet, but we are getting closer. Continue to hold the course steady, take care of each other, and we will get through this together.