By C. Todd Lopez
WASHINGTON (Dec. 28, 2021) -- An increase in new COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region -- the area including and surrounding Washington, D.C., where most of the Pentagon workforce lives -- has spurred Defense Department leadership to implement some additional safety measures to prevent its own workforce from becoming ill or contributing to new cases.
In a memorandum dated December 27, Michael Donley, director for administration and management at the Pentagon, discussed Defense Department concerns and detailed additional safety measures.
"We have seen an increase in coronavirus disease 2019 and positive test results in the National Capital Region in recent weeks," Donley wrote. "Additional mitigation measures will be implemented on the Pentagon Reservation to protect the workforce and our support to the no-fail mission of the Department of Defense."
According to the memorandum, beginning January 3, food concessions at the Pentagon will no longer have seating available for diners. Those who purchase food at those locations will need to eat elsewhere.
Because the Pentagon is in health protection condition "Bravo +," organizations in the building are maintaining occupancy rates at less than 40%. That will continue, and Donley asked supervisors and managers to "strongly encourage" the personnel they lead to telework at least through the end of January 2022. Virtual meetings or seating with physical distancing should be maximized.
Additionally, through the end of January, unofficial visitors will not be allowed in the building, and parties of official visitors must be limited to the minimum required for mission-critical meetings.
Beginning January 5, military personnel, DOD civilians and on-site contractors at the Pentagon will again have access to COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters at both the DiLorenzo Pentagon Health Clinic and at the Pentagon Library Conference Center. Personnel who wish to get the vaccine will need to make an appointment.