Vance Air Force Base

Vance Air Force Base. (File Photo)

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — In an effort to prevent further spread of coronavirus on military installations, Vance Air Force Base joined all other U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense bases in elevating its Health Protection Condition (HPCON) on Thursday, March 26, 2020.

The move was made in accordance with an order from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper to raise the HPCON on all Department of Defense installations to HPCON Charlie.

Vance previously had been at HPCON Bravo. As of Thursday morning, Vance reported zero confirmed COVID-19 cases at the base.

Health Protection Condition (HPCON) ratings are similar to Force Protection Conditions, which dictate the security posture on military installations.

Charlie is the second-highest HPCON condition for Department of Defense facilities, which range from Alpha to Delta.

Effective Thursday, Vance has implemented the following measures:

• Potential health screening at gates and medical facilities

• Maximizing social distancing

• Ensuring group activities include less than 10 personnel

"Vance will continue to execute our mission in support of national defense while balancing the safety of our personnel, their families and the local community," according to a 71st Flying Training Wing press release. "We will maintain mission essential facilities including the commissary, postal services, military treatment facilities and pharmacies, child development center, teen and youth center and other services required for official business. However, access may be limited and additional restrictions may be instituted as needed."

According to the press release, the elevated HPCON C measures are mandatory for active duty service members at Vance, "and are highly encouraged for Department of Defense civilian and contractor employees, and family members to ensure the continued health and safety for Vance’s downtown partners, civilians and their families."

Links provided by Vance to stay updated on coronavirus information include:

• Travel updates: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

• COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

• Department of State Travel Advisories: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

• CDC Health Travel Notices: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/

For more information and updates, visit the Vance Air Force Base Facebook page or email the Vance public affairs office at 71ftw.pa@us.af.mil.

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at jamesrneal.com.
Have a question about this story? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for James? Send an email to jneal@enidnews.com.

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