GREAT FALLS — Malmstrom Air Force Base on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, lowered the “Health Protection Condition” (HPCON) on the installation to Alpha.
A news release says the decision was made at the recommendation of Malmstrom’s Public Health Emergency Team due to the "decreased risk of community spread among the base population and the percentage of vaccinated personnel."
Along with the change in HPCON, mask wear is no longer required on Malmstrom by people who are fully vaccinated, with limited exceptions. Masks are still required in the base clinic, the child development center (CDC), and the youth center.
The updated mask policy at Malmstrom:
- Mask wear is not required by fully-vaccinated DOD personnel
- The following are exceptions for mask wear: Malmstrom Clinic, CDC, and Youth Center. The CDC and Youth Center require all personnel, to include staff, guardians, visitors, and children above the age of 6, maintain mask wear.
- Mask wear is required indoors for all service members, federal employees, contractors, and visitors that are not fully vaccinated.
- Reminder that a person is considered fully vaccinated if they are two weeks post final dose.
Colonel Anita Feugate Opperman, the commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom, said, “Health Protection Condition is a flexible, risk-based assessment which we change when we conclude that the health threat has changed. When we announced the change to HPCON Bravo last month, we were seeing a rise in base community cases as well as those in town due to the Omicron variant. However, over time the data local to our base has improved noticeably and allowed us to update our posture accordingly.”
The HPCON had been elevated several times during the COVID pandemic. Malmstrom declared a Public Health Emergency on March 13, 2020 due to the coronavirus, and elevated the HPCON level to Bravo a week later. The level was elevated to Charlie on July 20, 2020.