The Defense Department (DoD) is putting in place additional workplace restrictions for the Pentagon Reservation area over the Thanksgiving weekend – effective at 5:00 a.m. EST on Nov. 26 – due to the increased spike COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region.

The restrictions approved by DoD Chief Management Officer Lisa Hershman will move the Pentagon Reservation to Health Protection Condition (HPCON) Bravo-Plus, with a goal of no more than 40 percent of the workforce in workspaces, and 60 percent teleworking.

“The Acting Secretary of Defense’s number one priority during the COVID-19 pandemic is protecting our workforce” DoD said in a statement.

The decision to move to HPCON Bravo-Plus takes into account health data provided by state, district and local governments in the National Capital Region, as well as nearby military installations. It’s also based on a steady increase in COVID-19 cases and positive test results on the Pentagon Reservation since the end of August 2020, as well as an increase in cases in the National Capital Region since the middle of September 2020.

Additionally, cloth face coverings will continue to be mandatory if six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, gatherings – including in conference centers – will be limited to fewer than 25 people, and food court options will only be providing take-out service.

The Pentagon will encourage maximizing telework with a set goal of at least 60 percent, and vulnerable populations should remain at home until conditions return to HPCON Alpha.

“We are continually emphasizing to our people the need to take actions to protect themselves and those around them by employing protective measures, including practicing good hand washing, social distancing, wearing cloth face coverings, and taking appropriate actions if feeling sick now,” DoD said. “These can dramatically decrease the risk of infection and slow COVID-19’s spread.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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