2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 Understanding Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Levels

Last Updated: April 19, 2022
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Understanding Health Protection Conditions

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 HPCONs 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 your health and safety and that of your Family and community.

HPCON Levels are now directly linked to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Community Levels.  Civilian county-level data can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html​​External Link


No Community Transmission / Normal Operations

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 kitExternal Link
  • Create a pet disaster preparedness kit.External Link


Low COVID-19 Community Level Risk in the county in which the installation is located.​

Less than 100 percent of normal occupancy in the workplace, with Telework as appropriate.

Continue all previous actions and:

  • Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, especially in common areas and larger venues.​
  • 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.


Medium COVID-19 Community Level Risk in the county in which the installation is located.​

Less than 80 percent of normal occupancy in the workplace

  • Continue all previous actions and
  • Permit liberal telework where possible, especially for individuals who are immunocompromised or are high risk for severe disease.
  • Consider limiting occupancy of common areas by marking approved sitting areas or removing furniture to maintain physical distancing.
  • 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 modification 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. Medically vulnerable individuals should shelter-in-place and be permitted to telework as much as possible.
  • Comply with medical orders for self-isolation or quarantine.​


High COVID-19 Community Level Risk in the county in which the installation is located.​

Less than 50 percent of normal occupancy in the workplace.​

Continue all previous actions and:

  • Limit social gatherings to <50% facility/room occupancy
  • Consider closing common areas and large venues
  • 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.
  • Maximize Telework.
  • If outside the United States, authorized or ordered departure actions may be implemented.


High COVID-19 Community Level with degraded availability of medical countermeasures and substantial loss of medical capabilities.​

Less than 25 percent of normal occupancy in the workplace.

Continue all previous actions and:

  • Cancel non-mission-essential activities.
  • 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

• 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