2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Understanding Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Levels

Last Updated: August 13, 2020
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Understanding Health Protection Condition Levels

The Department of Defense Instruction (DoDI) 6200.03 “Public Health Emergency Management within the DoD,” and supplements, provides military commanders with policy applicable to the COVID-19 outbreak. Commanders review and update the health protection condition (HPCON) based on the risk level in the local community and in cooperation with local, state, or host nation guidance.

Commanders and public health personnel use HPCON levels to guide specific actions you can take in response to a health threat. While it’s always important to prevent the spread of germs, there are additional steps you can take if COVID-19 transmission becomes more widespread in your community. This site lists potential actions that may be indicated as a result of COVID-19.

Take the following actions to protect the health and safety of your Family and your community.


No Community Transmission

Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs:

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
• Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash; cough/sneeze into your elbow if tissues are unavailable.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
• Ensure all immunizations are up to date, including your seasonal flu shot.
• Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with Family members and pets.
Create an emergency preparedness kit.External Link
Create a pet disaster preparedness kit.External Link


Community Transmission beginning

Continue all previous actions and:

• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• If you are sick, call your medical provider for instructions on receiving care before going to the clinic.
• Stay informed by routinely checking reliable sources of information such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local public health agencies.


Increased Community Transmission

Continue all previous actions and:

• Avoid unnecessary contact with others, such as shaking hands and hugging.
• Avoid unnecessary travel, especially to areas known to be experiencing active disease transmission.
• Ensure supplies of food, medication, and other items needed for babies and pets are available to last at least 14 days.
• Prepare for travel restrictions and cancellation of public gatherings, such as school, religious, and other community activities; make alternative arrangements for childcare.
• Observe local guidance on movement restrictions and access requirements for military installations.
• Seek guidance from employers and unit leaders about changes to work practices (e.g., telework) and training events.
• Comply with medical orders for self-isolation or quarantine.


Sustained Community Transmission

Continue all previous actions and:

• Expect cancellation of in-person gatherings (e.g., schools, daycare, all community activities) and restricted ability to travel.
• Plan activities for Family members, especially children, in case you are restricted to your home for prolonged periods of time.
• Prepare for the potential of limited access to supplies and services, including severely restricted access to military installations.
• Implement remote work procedures as directed by your employer.
• If outside the United States, authorized or ordered departure actions may be implemented.


Widespread Community Transmission

Continue all previous actions and:

• Expect to remain at home for extended periods of time as movement in the community may be restricted, and at-home isolation or quarantine may be directed.
• Follow all directives and guidance from local, state and Federal authorities; these actions are to protect the health and safety of you and your Family.

Communication Resources

Understanding Health Protection Condition Levels (HPCON) Poster
• Additional APHC COVID-19 materials are available from the Health Information Products e-Catalog
• Social Media Graphics and Messages related to COVID-19 are available on the Communication Toolkit page
• Social Media Graphics and Messages specific to HPCON Levels are available on APHC's CAC-enabled COVID-19 milSuite pageExternal Link