MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Health Protection Condition, or HPCON, at Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex is now at ‘Charlie’, just one level below its highest possible designation.
Col. Patrick Carley ordered the HPCON level raised Wednesday in the wake of the still spreading COVID-19 pandemic.
“The safety and wellbeing of the Maxwell-Gunter family continues to be my top priority,” Carley said. “We are working in close partnership with regional, state and local officials, as well as taking in to account guidance and direction from Air Force and Department of Defense leadership, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus on the installation and within the community.”
The Department of Defense uses health protection measures to best protect base populations and the surrounding community from health risks.
HPCON Charlie indicates “a substantial threat of disease for personnel due to a local or regional epidemic outbreak with a high rate of disease in a population, imminent spread of such a disease, and/or a wide area of contamination that requires special or costly avoidance procedures,” according to the U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command.
HPCON Charlie measures include the following actions:
- Continue essential missions with required manning. Installation operations will be commensurate with federal, state and local guidelines; installation commanders will determine the installation’s essential missions and required manning in coordination with mission partners. Consider issuing documentation as proof for personnel who require movement to and from the base in support of essential missions.
- Maximizing remote/telework options. Only conduct in-person mission essential meetings that require the fewest personnel.
- Continued cancellation of daily/non-mission essential in-person gatherings (e.g., schools, daycare, all community activities) and potential restricted ability to travel. Commissary, Base Exchange and pharmacy remain open to ID card holders.
- Prepare for limited and/or restricted access to the installation, if directed. May include modifications to facility entrances/exits.
- Instruct military personnel and encourage civilian employees to limit off-base travel to movement to/from work, grocery and hospital/medical needs.
- Follow COVID-19 guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as from the 42nd Medical Group, to include social distancing, proper handwashing hygiene, avoiding touching face, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, staying home if sick.