Okinawa Marines report no new coronavirus cases Wednesday after Air Force adds one infection
By MATTHEW M. BURKE AND AYA ICHIHASHI | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 29, 2020
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CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Air Force on Okinawa announced one new coronavirus case Tuesday night, bringing the total number affiliated with the U.S. military at Kadena Air Base in July to five, according to a post on the base Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps for a second day this week reported no new coronavirus cases Wednesday on Okinawa. The Marines after the July Fourth weekend have reported sometimes dozens of new cases daily arising out of two cluster outbreaks at Camp Hansen and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
Kadena’s 18th Wing said the new patient was placed in isolation but did not specify whether it is a service member, civilian or family member.
“Our public health team has completed contact tracing and individuals identified as close contacts are now in quarantine,” the statement said.
The base has also reported two positive cases among its Japanese employees so far this month.
Okinawa prefecture on Wednesday reported 44 new cases in the community, the most announced in a single day since the pandemic began, according to a prefectural spokesman.
After a two-month stretch without a new infection, the number of local cases on the island has risen to 133 since July 8. Okinawa has reported 276 cases since the pandemic began.
A prefectural health official on Tuesday implored U.S. service members and their families to stay on their installations as the number of local cases continues to climb. The official also urged tourists to avoid the island for the time being.
Kadena in the Facebook post promised to work closely with local public health officials and to be transparent to ensure the safety and well-being of U.S. forces on the island and members of the off-base community.
So far this month, the U.S. military on Okinawa has announced 236 coronavirus cases. Camp Hansen reported 118 infections, MCAS Futenma reported 109, Kadena reported five, and Camps Foster, Courtney, Kinser and McTureous each reported one.