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Holloman Air Force Base placed on HPCON Charlie due to Coronavirus

A QF-16 drone flies over Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., Feb. 10, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Emily Kenney)

Holloman Air Force Base upgraded its health protection status to HPCON Charlie in response to the growing number of cases of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in New Mexico.

There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Holloman Air Force Base or in Otero County.

The U.S. Department of the Air Force took the precautionary move, declared by the U.S. Secretary of Defense, to place all DoD installations—to include HAFB—at Health Protection Condition Charlie, according to a news release from HAFB on Thursday.

HPCON levels are used by commanders and public health personnel to guide actions that may be taken in response to a health threat.

HPCON Charlie is a third step beyond the normal baseline and acknowledges a substantial health threat that indicates sustained community transmission.

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HPCON Charlie may further restrict gatherings and travel, prepares for potentially limited access to supplies and services as well as access to the base.

The remaining step indicates a severe health threat with widespread community transmission.

HAFB leadership are working with the City of Alamogordo, Otero County and state officials at this time.

According to the release, the base has already implemented steps related to HPCON Charlie to include substantial hygiene measures, social distancing, restrictions on base access, increasing teleworking for employees on the base, limiting off-base travel, closing non-essential services at the base and implementing more screening measures.

HPCON levels are utilized by the DoD as guidance to military commanders, similar to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, to lead public health actions.

“All of these precautionary steps are being taken to protect the health of our military members, civilians, contractors and families. Holloman’s operational and training missions will continue, supporting the needs of U.S. national defense,” the release states.

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© 2020 the Alamogordo Daily News