WASHINGTON - The Vice Chief of Naval Operations issued supplemental guidance for commanders on adjusting health protection conditions (HPCON) and base services, May 20.

The new guidance also establishes reporting requirements for HPCON and installation services status and supplements guidance from the Secretary of Defense as a result of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“There will be a natural, yet healthy tension between keeping services secured to protect our work force and ensuring we provide services to our work force during this enduring pandemic,” said Adm. Robert P. Burke, Vice Chief of Naval Operations. “Commanders are expected to take a measured risk-informed approach and all hands are expected to follow public health measures to facilitate the balance of risk to mission and risk to force.”

This HPCON guidance outlines a framework to assess Navy installations and facilities using local community health conditions and criteria to include:

(1) Downward trajectory of reported cases of influenza-like illness and COVID-like illness cases reported over the preceding 14 days

(2) Downward trajectory of documented COVID-19 cases or of positive tests as a percent of total tests over the preceding 14 days

(3) Military medical treatment facilities or local hospitals have the capacity to treat all patients without situational standards of care and have an established COVID-19 testing program in place for at-risk healthcare workers and those exhibiting influenza-like and COVID-like symptoms

Additionally, the HPCON guidance describes minimum public health mitigation measures to inform commanders’ decisions on adjusting health protection conditions or opening restricted services.

“Local commanders maintain the inherent right to shut down services when guidance is not being followed,” said Burke. “Through an all-hands effort, we can return basic services to our work force as we open up our Navy and operate in this new normal.”

For more information, read NAVADMIN 147/20 at https://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/Documents/NAVADMINS/NAV2020/NAV20147.txt.

Connecticut Media Group