Navy loosens COVID-19 restrictions, Sailors can leave homes for non-essential tasks

Oak Hill Deployment
Posted at 12:07 PM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 12:10:13-04

The Navy is loosening COVID-19 related restrictions on Sailors in Hampton Roads.

The Navy said all bases in Hampton Roads can move into Health Protection Condition Level (HPCON) Bravo.

They had been on Charlie, a more restrictive level, since March.

Under those restrictions activities like dining in restaurants were prohibited.

With cases declining in the region we now meet metrics set by the defense department to ease the rules. Specifically, health statistics showed a downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases and influenza-like illnesses for more than 14 days, local medical facilities demonstrated the capacity to treat all patients without crisis care, and COVID-19 testing programs are in place for at-risk healthcare workers and those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Under the new guidance Sailors can leave their homes for non-essential tasks but the Navy said they are still expected to exercise sound judgment, maintain strict adherence to established health protection measures and take personal responsibility to ensure the health and safety of themselves and those around them.

“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. 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.”

The Navy said Sailors and their families still need to exercise caution and if conditions worsen the restrictions could be put back in place.