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‘Member of Team Kadena’ tests positive for coronavirus at Okinawa air base

Airmen from the 18th Medical Group conduct coronavirus testing at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, March 20, 2020.

MANDY FOSTER/U.S. AIR FORCE

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 13, 2020

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URUMA, Okinawa — The 18th Wing announced late Monday that a “member of Team Kadena” is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The infection, announced on the air base’s official Facebook page, is the first reported by the installation since three individuals tested positive in late March.

“Initial contact tracing efforts have revealed no exposures to the local community off base,” the Facebook message said. “Military health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing … to determine any potential additional exposures.”

Kadena re-imposed strict limits on personnel movements and activities last week after a spate of new coronavirus cases appeared at nearby Marine Corps bases.

In a message posted to Facebook on Friday evening, Brig. Gen. Joel Carey, 18th Wing commander, said most of those cases are Marines and are “a mix of both travel related and those of origins we have yet to be able to identify, indicating a potential of a re-emergence of community spread.”

In addition to restrictions related to on-base gyms and most off-base dining and entertainment options, 18th Wing personnel may no longer travel to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Camp Hansen and Camp Kinser, unless they are on official business. They have also been also urged to limit their travel to and from other Marine bases on the island.

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