Another US military child care center in Japan closes pending coronavirus test results

Staff members on a U.S. base in Germany deep clean a child development center as a precaution against coronavirus on March 19, 2020. Similar measures were taken at centers in Japan.


By JOSEPH DITZLER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 26, 2020

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Another child development center on a U.S. military facility in Japan has been closed due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The Sagamihara Family Housing Area Child Development Center was shuttered Thursday “out of an abundance of caution,” according to a message posted that afternoon on the Army Garrison Japan Facebook page.

Sagamihara, near Tokyo in Kanagawa prefecture, is a housing area for service members and their families posted to Camp Zama, the home of U.S. Army Japan and other Army units.

“This closure is being directed due to possible contact with an individual who is pending COVID-19 test results,” the post said, using the official name of the new coronavirus.

None of the children or staff members within the center have tested positive for the virus, it added.

Parents were asked to pick up their children as soon as possible Thursday.

The center will be closed Friday “for deep cleaning and sanitation,” according to the garrison statement. It said further information would be forthcoming.

“Parents will be asked to provide care for their own children on Friday,” the statement said. “Thank you for your patience as we continue to make your health and safety our No. 1 priority.”

Earlier this month, child development centers at Yokosuka Naval Base, also in Kanagawa prefecture, and Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo were closed pending the results of coronavirus tests. Those tests — a child and a staff member at Yokosuka and a staff member at Yokota — came back negative.

The Yokosuka center has reopened while the Yokota facility remains shuttered in line with Defense Department school closures.

Twitter: @JosephDitzler

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