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US Forces Korea reports eight additional coronavirus cases

Coroanvirus specimen bags are prepared for Patriot Express passengers arriving at Osan Air Base, South Korea, July 14, 2020.

MATTHEW KEELER/STARS AND STRIPES

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 13, 2020

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SEOUL, South Korea — Seven U.S. troops and a civilian contractor tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling to South Korea from the United States, the military said Thursday.

The announcement raised to 152 the total number of cases affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea since February.

Four of the infected service members and the Defense Department contractor arrived at Incheon International Airport on commercial flights on July 29, July 30, Aug. 8 and Aug. 9, USFK said in a press release.

The other three troops landed Monday at Osan Air Base on a government-chartered flight known as the Patriot Express, it said.

Following the South Korean government’s lead, USFK has implemented a strict testing and two-week quarantine program aimed at preventing the spread of the virus from other countries.

All but 24 of the USFK cases have been caught in that process, with the command reporting its last local transmission in mid-April.

Six of the latest patients tested positive in their first test after arriving. The other two tested positive on the second test required to exit quarantine, according to the press release.

All were transferred to isolation facilities designated for coronavirus patients on Camp Humphreys or Osan Air Base, the military said.

USFK health professionals determined the need for contact tracing was limited since all arrivals to South Korea are quarantined and the patients had no contact with anybody on-base or in the local communities, it added.

All transportation assets and occupied quarantine rooms they had occupied also were thoroughly cleaned, it said.

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