BREAKING – Naval installations in Hampton Roads were ordered to move to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Level Charlie today following a sustained increase in coronavirus cases in the local community.
The change means that occupancy levels in work spaces onboard installations must be less than 25 percent of their normal capacity and that military exercises may be re-scoped, modified or canceled.
Under HPCON Charlie, installations may also consider limiting visitor access and canceling events. Social gatherings for personnel must be limited to 10 people. Military commanders also may restrict unvaccinated personnel from off-installation venues such as bars, restaurants and concert halls.
The Hampton Roads area was most recently in HPCON Charlie from Nov. 18, 2020 to May 1, 2021. During that time, military personnel were barred from non-essential activities off base. But since then, the Navy has revised its policies following an extensive vaccination effort.
Sailors who are fully vaccinated are not subject to individual restrictions any higher than those corresponding to HPCON Bravo.
While in HPCON Charlie, capacity at gyms and restaurants on base will likely be limited by installation commanders.
Military treatment facilities may also limit elective surgeries in accordance with guidance from the Defense Health Agency and the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs.
“This virus has shown us time and again the best way to beat it is for everyone to get vaccinated,” said Rear Adm. Charles Rock, Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. “The vaccine is safe and effective. The sooner everyone gets the shot, the sooner we can return to normal. I want everyone to encourage their friends, family members and neighbors to get vaccinated so we can sink COVID-19 once and for all.”
All service members, civilians, contractors and visitors already must wear masks while indoors on all military installations regardless of vaccination status.
Military personnel in Hampton Roads also must adhere to state and local guidance regarding off-base activities. Military personnel also are required to follow the guidance of their commanding officers, and any guidance provided by region or installation commanders.
If local conditions worsen, HPCON levels can increase. The move to HPCON Charlie was a result of sustained community transmission that included a daily average of 31 to 60 new cases per 100,000 population in the last seven days.