Positive coronavirus case at Iwakuni in Japan turned out to be an error
By JAMES BOLINGER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 16, 2020
Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan — One case of the coronavirus reported Tuesday at this base in southern Japan turned out to a false positive, MCAS Iwakuni announced in a statement Thursday.
The person had driven in a private vehicle from Kansai Airport before entering the mandated, 14-day quarantine at MCAS Iwakuni, the statement said.
Marine officials learned of the error Thursday from Japanese officials. The test result was “miscommunicated,” according to the statement.
In a separate case, the air station said a group that tested positive after arriving Monday posed a low risk of exposure, based on contact tracing by Japanese health authorities and authorities at MCAS Iwakuni.
Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kano on Tuesday identified the group as a U.S. military family of three. He said the family misled authorities at Haneda Airport in metro Tokyo on Sunday and took a commercial flight Monday to Iwakuni.
U.S. military personnel arriving in Japan aboard commercial flights are barred from using domestic air travel or other public transportation to reach their destination.
“The circumstances of this incident are still under investigation,” the statement said. “Failure to abide by the policies in place increases the risk to our host nation and local population and may result in administrative or disciplinary action.”