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U.S. Marine Capt. Michael Cathey, the aide-de-camp for the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, receives the COVID-19 vaccine at the naval hospital on Camp Pendleton, California, Jan. 12, 2021. While the COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary, all beneficiaries and Marine Corps personnel are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated to protect their health and their community. Vaccines are being administered in a phased approach, prioritizing healthcare workers and first responders, as well as mission critical and deploying personnel. Vaccination distribution prioritization within DOD, and the Marine Corps, will be consistent with data-driven CDC guidance for national prioritization. Marines will continue to wear appropriate masks, practice social distancing, regularly wash their hands, and follow restriction of movement guidelines to maintain the safety of others as a large portion of the population will need to be vaccinated before COVID-19 risks diminish. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jeremy Laboy)

Photo by Sgt. Jeremy Laboy

MCI-West moves to HPCON Alpha

21 Jun 2021 | Lance Cpl. Hope Straley Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

Marine Corps Installations West is lifting most restrictions after almost a year and a half of heightened health protection conditions in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

On June 18, MCI-West installations transitioned to HPCON Alpha after data collected from the surrounding communities showed a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases.

The Department of Defense Public Health Emergency Management Policy assigns the health protection condition level based on the severity of contamination in the local community, as well as the threat level the disease poses against military members stationed on base. Health protection conditions outline specific actions or restrictions that should be put into place to protect each individual during the time of concern.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Elizabeth Reeves, the public health emergency officer for MCI-West, outlined the restrictions that will still be in effect after the switch.

“Face coverings in high risk areas, such as, hospitals, transportation facilities and the base brig will remain in effect until further notice,” said Reeves. “Social distancing, temperature checks and health questionnaires upon entrance to these facilities will also remain in effect.”

Reeves emphasized the impact implementing HPCON regulations had on protecting service members and their families in the area.

“The decrease in COVID-19 cases indicates that we did our job well as a community, and took the steps necessary to protect ourselves,” said Reeves. “The local community and surrounding area followed the procedures in place, therefore, the base was able to lift some of the policies that were implemented as a means to fight the pandemic.”

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego remains in HPCON Bravo at this time.

In accordance with California and regional health guidelines, MCI-West Marines and sailors will continue to support COVID-19 efforts. Testing centers for the virus will remain open throughout Camp Pendleton.

For more information regarding COVID-19 in the area, visit the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton website.


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