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Mark Esper Imposes Higher Health Risk Designation for Pentagon

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Mark Esper
Mark Esper

Defense Secretary and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient Mark Esper has heightened the Pentagon’s restriction level as the coronavirus outbreak continues to pose risks to personnel, Defense One reported Monday.

The Pentagon is currently at Health Protection Condition level C, which represents substantial health risks and sustained community transmission. HPCON-C is the second-highest DoD health risk designation, according to the Army Public Health Center.

Esper said that Pentagon officials may conduct medical screening activities such as temperature assessments to employees. He added that the Department of Defense has “no intent whatsoever” to restrict access to the media and will keep the Pentagon open to key employees and the press.

The DoD has already implemented telework practices and minimized staffing in response to the outbreak, according to the report.