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‘Substantial risk’ now for coronavirus exposure, U.S. Army Hawaii warns

                                A food court on Schofield Barracks is roped off because of the coronavirus.


    A food court on Schofield Barracks is roped off because of the coronavirus.

U.S. Indo-Pacific Command this morning raised the “health protection condition” level to “Charlie” for military members in Hawaii — indicating a “substantial risk of exposure” for coronavirus, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii said.

The Defense Department scale for coronavirus runs from “0” — routine, with no community transmission — to Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta.

Charlie means sustained community transmission. Delta indicates severe widespread community transmission. There remain four confirmed cases of COVID-19 within U.S. Army Hawaii.

In a Facebook community briefing Monday, U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii commander Col. Tom Barrett said based on stay-at-home decisions made by Mayor Kirk Caldwell and Gov. David Ige, changes were being made on Army installations to help protect soldiers and their families.

The Army said it is closing some base gates to limit the spread of coronavirus via ID checks.

Those gates include: Aliamanu Military Reservation back gate off Bougainville Drive; Fort Shafter Patch Gate (back gate) off Notley Street; Schofield Barracks Foote Gate off Kunia Road and Macomb Gate off Wilikina Drive; and Wheeler Army Airfield Kawamura Gate off Kamehameha Highway.

“We understand that this is going to be a major inconvenience for many of you,” Barrett said. “But we are asking for your patience. Allow extra time to exit and enter the installations.”

25th Infantry Division Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Oliver said all Army fitness centers have closed.

At the Schofield commissary, meanwhile, “they are allowing 20 people at a time in the facility,” Oliver said. “This is to keep people spread out in the building.”

“The bottom line is if you don’t have to go out, we recommend that you stay home — acknowledging the fact that there are mission-essential folks that need to conduct training, as well as support services for the garrison,” Barrett said.

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