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Navy eases pandemic restrictions in Hampton Roads

By DAVE RESS | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: September 23, 2020

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(Tribune News Service) — The Navy is easing pandemic-related restrictions in Hampton Roads, now that the region has seen a decline in COVID-19 cases for more than 14 days,

The move authorizes Navy installations here to move to Health Protection Condition Level (HPCON) Bravo, the second lowest of the four categories indicating the level of risk in the community. Hampton Roads facilities had been under HPCON Charlie since March, which meant severely restricted access to military installations, among other things.

The easing to HPCON Bravo means military personnel in Hampton Roads can leave their homes for non-essential tasks, the Navy said. But service men and women are still expected to strictly adhere to measures to protect public health, such as wearing masks and washing hands.

“Protecting our workforce is our top priority. The conditions in Hampton Roads have improved enough to allow our personnel to move a little more freely throughout the community,” said Rear Adm. Charles Rock, commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

“But our force must remain vigilant," he added. "It is imperative that everyone continues to frequently wash their hands and avoid high-risk activities such as going to a bar or attending a large music concert.”

In addition to the decline in COVID-19 cases and flu-like illnesses, the Navy is able to move to HPCON Bravo because local medical facilities have shown they can treat all patients without crisis care while COVID-19 testing programs are in place for at-risk healthcare workers and those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

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