Joint Base Andrews increased its health protection condition at 3 p.m. on Sunday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a JBA press release.
At the direction of Col. Andrew Purath, the commander of the 11th Wing and Joint Base Andrews, the base shifted from HPCON Bravo to HPCON Charlie. Other military bases throughout the National Capital Region have similarly shifted to HPCON Charlie.
Under HPCON Charlie, the installation workforce, residents and community using base services should:
• 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 limited and/or restricted access to the installation if directed.
• Implement remote work procedures as directed.
• Follow COVID-19 medical guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as from the 11th Medical Group.
• Practice social distancing.
The Department of Defense uses health protection measures to best protect base populations and the surrounding community from health risks, according to the press release. Purath declared a public health emergency for Joint Base Andrews on March 16.
“Our top priority is protecting everyone’s health,” Purath said in the release. “We are working in close partnership with regional, state and county officials to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus on base and within the community. During this challenging time, we all must do our part to protect our fellow service members, our families and our community.”
The requirements under HPCON Charlie are mandatory for all Joint Base Andrews service members and are highly encouraged for DoD civilian, contractor employees and family members.
Joint Base Andrews has already implemented precautions throughout the base to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, including changes to procedures at its gates and medical facilities.
Operational readiness on base has not been affected by these changes, the press release said.
On March 24 at 11 a.m., Purath and his command chief will hold a Facebook Live session to address concerns around COVID-19. The live stream can be accessed on the Joint Base Andrews Facebook page: www.facebook.com/jointbaseandrews
The most updated information is available on the Joint Base Andrews COVID-19 website: https://www.jba.af.mil/Home/COVID-19-Coronavirus/. The website includes hours of operation for facilities on base.