Fort Belvoir is beginning plans to gradually open some activities and services on post, if conditions permit a shift from Health Protection Condition Charlie to Bravo, according to Garrison Commander Col. Michael Greenberg, during remarks during the May 7 Facebook COVID-19 town hall.
This recovery framework is based on guidance from White House Task Force Guidelines to Reopen America, in consultation with Defense Department, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Commonwealth of Virginia and Fairfax County leaders and health professionals. Changes to the Health Protection Condition are directed by the Military District of Washington senior commander. Greenberg shared that none of the actions are based on fixed dates nor will Fort Belvoir’s actions necessarily mirror those of state and local government.
“As conditions evolve, the framework may change,” said Greenberg. “Just know that this potentially could change, as conditions transpire.”
Greenberg said there will be four phases, moving from our current status of HPCON C back to the removal of any health condition, but that last phase will only take effect only after a vaccine is widely available, something Greenberg expected to take “many, many months.”
Child care options
Belvoir’s Child Development Centers will also gradually expand from the existing category of ‘vital’ personnel only to ‘essential,’ allowing more daycare to be offered by available employees. However, he asked parents to understand that the return of full daycare services will take time.
“The Fort Belvoir Child Development Centers are not going to go up to full capacity, even in the next couple months. We’ve already sent a note out to parents indicating that we will have limitations, and with the social distancing our capacities will be cut significantly. We will continue to try to push to allow as many folks as we can get in there, with a focus on safety for the children and staff,” he said.
Greenberg recommended two options for parents seeking child care, the Army Fee Assistance and the Army Family Child Care programs. For more information on fee assistance, visit childcareaware.org.
To learn more about the Army Family Child Care Program, call 703-805-1824.
Gym, barber changes
Greenberg said gyms are planning to start with 90-minute sessions for Service members. Then the staff will clean before the next group enters. Barber shops will open by appointment only and then to Service members in uniform. The existing Grab and Go status of eateries on post will remain, until the health protection condition eases to HPCON A, when seated dining will be slowly introduced.
The commander also said outdoor activities such as playgrounds will be relaxed only as much as new guidelines can be adhered to. “If we can’t adhere to the standard, because we don’t have the resources, then we’re going to delay opening … until we can get the standards met.
“This is not a time-based approach,” cautioned Greenberg. There are no fixed dates for any of this, and even the anticipated mid-May easing of conditions may be extended.
Additional information will be discussed during today’s 5 p.m. at facebook.com/fortbelvoir/live.