The Pentagon issued guidance to commanders Wednesday on changing local Force Health Protection Condition (HPCON) levels so they can begin planning for normal operations at their installations, according to a DOD press release.

“Under this guidance commanders make deliberate, risk-based decisions to change HPCON levels as conditions allow,” the release said.

The guidance to commanders recommends that they collaborate with local and state health officials to determine HPCON levels and also consider guidance from the CDC and the command’s medical leaders.

They are advised to consider the trajectory of reported cases of flu-like and COVID-19-like over a 14-day period and the testing and treatment capacity of nearby hospitals and the local military treatment facility.

The release noted that the changes are in accordance with the administration’s “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” but said commanders can make the decisions that are best for their bases.

“Commanders will at all times retain the inherent authority to increase their HPCON levels as necessary.”

Navy photo by Taylor Curry