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Rapidly increasing omicron variant cases leads HAFB to tighten protocols

By Deborah Wilber - | Jan 10, 2022

Photo supplied, Cynthia Griggs/U.S. Air Force

Lt. Gen. Gene Kirkland, Air Force Sustainment Center commander, and Chief Master Sgt. David Flosi, AFSC command chief master sergeant, listen to 2nd Lt. Casey Lockett, far right, 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron, as he presents how the squadron has implemented COVID-19 mitigations for deploying airmen at Hill Air Force Base on Sept. 22, 2020.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE –U.S. Air Force Col. Jenise M. Carroll, commander of Hill Air Force Base, issued an immediate transition to Health Protection Condition Charlie on Friday evening in response to record numbers of the COVID-19 omicron variant sweeping across the world.

Cancelation of in-person gatherings and restricted travel are expected with the tighter Department of Defense protocol for public health emergencies. HPCONs range from O, when conditions are routine with no community transmission, to Delta, representing severe conditions with widespread community transmission.

While base-level statistics on how many people have tested positive are yet to be released, the installation is taking measures to ensure the safety and protection of base employees.

According to the Utah Department of Health, last Thursday’s numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Utah, 8,900, shattered the previous day’s record by over 1,600, nearly doubling the previous record for cases on Dec. 31, 2021.

As with changes made to the base’s COVID-19 Mitigation Measures and Casual Social Gathering Directive in September 2021 to address the delta variant, additional steps are being taken to account for the omicron variant.

All DOD personal, dependents, contractors, retirees and guests on the installation are required to adhere to the directives, regardless of vaccination status, until further notice. In cases where the new protocols conflict with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the military guidance will take precedence.

The full text of the HPCON Charlie order can be found at https://bit.ly/3r9POrv.

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