The Pentagon increased its Health Protection Condition to level “Charlie” as positive cases of Covid-19 continue to sprout up throughout the national capital region, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced Monday.
In response, as of noon on March 24, the building will be shutting down a number of its entrances.
The list of closings can be seen in the image below and viewed on the website of the Washington Headquarters Services.
“Community spread is increasing, and a cluster of cases, or a trending increase, has been detected,” the Washington Headquarters Website says.
“The Pentagon Reservation and DoD offices and facilities in the NCR remain open and operational, but with restricted access and enhanced health protection measures being taken beyond the health protection measures begun under HPCON 0 and HPCON A, which continue.”
Additionally, Armed Forces Retirement Homes (AFRH) have increased HPCON levels to "Delta” in order “to protect our residents and staff from exposure to coronavirus,” the AFRH website says.
Effective immediately, only AFRH residents and key personnel and staff will be allowed access to residential facilities. All visitation is immediately suspended for guests.
Residents in hospice care at AFRH-Washington’s Scott and Sheridan buildings and the AFRH-Gulfport facility, meanwhile, are still able to be visited by immediate family members, medical personnel, delivery drivers and contractors, the organization announced.
Additional information regarding evolving visitation policies can be found at the Armed Forces Retirement Home website.
The Department of Defense “remains committed to protecting our people, maintaining mission readiness, and supporting the whole-of-government effort response to COVID-19,” a DoD release stated.
“We ask our people to take actions to protect themselves and those around them by employing protective measures, including practicing good hand washing, social distancing, and taking appropriate actions if feeling sick now.”
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.