Maj. Gen. Omar Jones, senior commander, Military District of Washington, approved the easing of the health protection status to HPCON Bravo at Fort Belvoir and four other Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia.
Speaking at last week’s Facebook live town hall, Col. Michael Greenberg, garrison commander, said the installation is de-escalating from HPCON C, to HPCON B, which allows the installation to begin opening additional facilities and services.
Facilities that reopened on post include the golf course; outdoor recreation rentals; the Leisure Travel Services (LTS) at the Community Center; and indoor seating at the Exchange, 12th Street and Community Center dining areas. The library also offers curbside book pickup.
Greenberg said these facilities were opened after thorough analysis by a recovery review board.
Greenberg cautioned the virus is still present and dangerous, noting spikes across the south and southwestern U.S.
“It doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods,” Greenberg said, noting face coverings are still required in all areas where 6-foot distancing is not possible.
Greenberg said further study is needed before Belvoir can be assured it is safe, even if Northern Virginia is further along in its reopening. “We assess the risk. We will open as we see fit, and know that we can keep our community safe,” he said.
The commander thanked community members for their vigilance, which is what allowed this easing of restrictions.
“It’s to protect our community and workforce. Maintain social distancing and make sure you use hand sanitizer or wash your hands as you go into public places. If you’re not feeling good, stay home,” Greenberg said. Additionally, public health professionals encourage you to seek guidance from employers and unit leaders about changes to work practices and training events; and to comply with medical orders for self-isolation or quarantine, especially if living with or in close contact with someone testing positive or awaiting COVID-19 test results.
The Army’s Military District of Washington installations went to HPCON B, in response to declining COVID-19 transmission within the region. In addition to Belvoir, they include Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall; Fort A.P. Hill, Va.; Fort George G. Meade, Md.; and Fort Lesley J. McNair, D.C.
“Our No. 1 priority remains protecting our people and local communities. We also must ensure we remain ready,” Jones said. “This team is responsible for multiple, no-fail missions across our nation’s capital, and we must maintain our readiness to respond.”
Specific HPCON Bravo implementation will vary at each installation.
According to MDW, the decision to lower the HPCON status is made after assessing the local environment and consulting with public health officials. If conditions worsen locally, the health protection condition will be adjusted.
For more information on MWR activities, visit belvoir.armymwr.com/promos/dfmwr-covid-19-updates.