Improved health conditions prompt Fort Belvoir changes
Fort Belvoir updated its Health Protection Condition (HPCON) to HPCON Alpha Aug. 28 due to low levels of community transmission of COVID-19 in Fairfax County. Under HPCON Alpha, individuals accessing the installation are not required to wear masks, except at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and any specially designated facilities.
While a limited health alert is still in place at the garrison, the improving public health situation means that some COVID-19 restrictions have been eased, and some previously closed establishments will be assessed for reopening.
One of the businesses that many Fort Belvoir residents and visitors have missed over the past months is the Fort Belvoir Bowling Center, which closed Sept. 18, 2021. At that time, the center’s staff and management team said in a Facebook post that the center would be closed until the garrison returned to HPCON Alpha. The main driver of the closure, according to staff, was not safety considerations but because the limited number of people working at the garrison was preventing the center from generating enough income to be self-sustaining.
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According to Fort Belvoir’s Public Affairs Office, no decisions have yet been made as to if and when the bowling center will reopen. Facilities operated by the installation’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) are being examined for potential reopening, but costs and budgetary constraints are being taken into consideration, said a Fort Belvoir spokesperson.
Fort Belvoir’s Officers’ Club also remains closed to the general public for the time being, though it is available for rentals and special events at the garrison.
One popular Fort Belvoir tradition that’s returning in full force following a two-year pandemic pause is the garrison’s Oktoberfest celebration. The event, which is open to the general public, will take place from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 at Fremont Field. MWR is currently seeking volunteers to help out in various capacities. More information about the event will become available in coming weeks.