Fri. Apr 3rd, 2020

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Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Levels

3 min read

The Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6200.03 “Public Health Emergency Management Within the DoD,” and supplements, provides military commanders with policy applicable to the COVID-19 outbreak. Commanders review and update the health protection condition (HPCON) based on the risk level in the local community and in cooperation with local, state, or host nation guidance.

HPCON Levels:

1. HPCON Level 0 – Routine – No community transmission.

Commanders should review and update installation plans and work to maximize telework possibilities.

– Community members should take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs:
– Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
– Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
– Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash; cough/sneeze into your elbow if tissues are unavailable.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
– Ensure all immunizations are up to date, including your seasonal flu shot.
– Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with Family members and pets.
– Create an emergency preparedness kit.

2. HPCON Level Alpha – Limited – Community transmission beginning.

Commanders need to re-emphasize health and hygiene and ensure service members and employees avoid contact with sick people.

Installation community members need to continue all previous actions and:
– Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
– If you are sick, call your medical provider for instructions on receiving care before going to the clinic
– Stay informed by routinely checking reliable sources of information such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), your local public health agencies and your base or installation social media page and website.

3. HPCON Level Bravo – Moderate – Increased community transmission.

This level allows commanders to restrict service members from travel.

They should also ensure that personal protective equipment is available for high-risk personnel.

Installation community members need to continue all previous actions and:
– Avoid unnecessary contact with others, such as shaking hands and hugging.
– Avoid unnecessary travel, especially to areas known to be experiencing active disease transmission.
– Ensure supplies of food, medication, and other items needed for babies and pets are available to last at least 14 days.
– Prepare for travel restrictions and cancellation of public gatherings, such as school, religious, and other community activities; make alternative arrangements for childcare.
– Observe local guidance on movement restrictions and access requirements for military installations.
– Seek guidance from employers and unit leaders about changes to work practices (e.g., telework) and training events.
– Comply with medical orders for self-isolation or quarantine.

4. HPCON Level Charlie – Substantial – Sustained community transmission.

This fourth level of action allows commanders to declare public health emergencies and place limits on access to the installations. Commanders should consider what needs to change in regard to the force exercise program. For those overseas, commanders may want to consider authorized and ordered departure actions.

Installation community members need to continue all previous actions and:
– Expect cancellation of in-person gatherings (e.g., schools, daycare, all community activities) and restricted ability to travel.
– Plan activities for Family members, especially children, in case you are restricted to your home for prolonged periods of time.
– Prepare for the potential of limited access to supplies and services, including severely restricted access to military installations.
– Implement remote work procedures as directed by your employer.
– If outside the United States, authorized or ordered departure actions may be implemented.

5. HPCON Level Delta – Severe – Widespread community transmission.

• This allows commanders to restrict movement, cancel non-mission essential activities, cancel exercises, canceling all non-essential leave or travel and institute a quarantine.

– Installation community members need to continue all previous actions and:
– Expect to remain at home for extended periods of time as movement in the community may be restricted, and at-home isolation or quarantine may be directed.
– Follow all directives and guidance from local, state and Federal authorities; these actions are to protect the health and safety of you and your Family.

Video by Lance Cpl. Angela Wilcox
Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton