FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — On the final day of March, the Fort Drum military base lowered its COVID-19 Health Protection Level.

This was confirmed in a memorandum from the 10th Mountain Division Commanding General Major General Milford H. Beagle, Jr. on March 31 as Fort Drum moved to Health Protection Condition Level Alpha.

Health Protection Condition Levels, or HPCON, are assigned by the Department of Defense Public Health Emergency policy during disease outbreaks such as COVID-19. These levels are based on the severity of the disease and transmission levels occurring in the local community.

In HPCON A, the DoD says there is limited community transmission. Because Fort Drum is now operating in this level, there are fewer restrictions on unnecessary contact, unnecessary travel and less preparation needed for impending travel restrictions, cancellations or closures.

MG Beagle said that this relief is following high vaccination rates and lower transmission rates as Jefferson County currently has a “LOW” COVID-19 Community Level.

MG Beagle also added that Fort Drum is “gearing up for an extremely high operational tempo” for the second half of 2022. He urged all community members to remain vigilant, mindful and diligent.

Fort Drum will still require its community to avoid close contact with sick individuals practice hand hygiene, ensure immunizations are up-to-date, routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces and stay home when sick.

As of March 28, DoD COVID-19 travel restrictions remained lifted for the Fort Drum military base. These restrictions have been lifted since the fall of 2020.