Effective 5 a.m. EST on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, the Pentagon Reservation will be moving to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Charlie, with workspace capacity required to be at less than 25 percent and supervisors continuing to provide maximum telework opportunities.
Last week, the Defense Department (DoD) said the Pentagon was at HPCON Bravo Plus – with an in-office workforce not exceeding 40 percent – and taking action to maximize telework through the end of January.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks wrote in a memo this week to senior Pentagon leadership and the Defense Agencies and Field Activities that the department would be complying with occupancy limits, including maximum telework and “rotating or sharing of work assignments for mission critical tasks that can only be performed at the workplace.”
According to a news release, the change to HPCON Charlie includes several different measures being put into effect, including, but not limited to:
- Organizations are to maintain occupancy rates at less than 25 percent of normal workspace occupancy, unless exceptions are approved;
- Commanders and supervisors will provide maximum telework opportunities;
- Commanders and supervisors will ensure that health protection guidance on testing and isolation or quarantine is practiced;
- Gatherings at the Pentagon must be limited to fewer than 10 people and physical distancing must remain at six feet; and
- Masks must be worn indoors, regardless of vaccination status, by service members, DoD civilian employees, onsite contractors, and visitors.
The moves to deal with the rising coronavirus spread also come after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced that he tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Jan. 2. Austin is vaccinated, and reported mild symptoms.