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US military in South Korea and Japan reports another 32 cases of coronavirus

Hundreds scramble across the Shibuya crossing in Tokyo on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020.

AKIFUMI ISHIKAWA/STARS AND STRIPES

By JOSEPH DITZLER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 22, 2020

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TOKYO The U.S. military in Japan and South Korea reported another 32 cases of coronavirus as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, while both countries continued to report some of their highest daily numbers.

In Seoul, the South Korean Central Disease Control Headquarters reported 869 new cases across the country on Monday, ending a five-day run of more than 1,000 new cases per day.

U.S. Forces Korea reported two South Korean civilian workers tested positive, one a contractor at Camp Casey, the other a civilian employee at Camp Humphreys, according to a news release Monday evening.

The contractor at Casey had been quarantined at home since Dec. 14 when he tested positive Saturday. He was last at Casey on Dec. 13, according to the command.

The Humphreys employee tested positive Sunday and was last at the base on Friday, according to USFK.

Japan on Monday reported 2,643 newly infected individuals, according to the World Health Organization. Tokyo, the capital, on Tuesday reported 563 people tested positive for the virus, according to public broadcaster NHK.

Yokosuka Naval Base, 35 miles south of central Tokyo and homeport of the 7th Fleet, reported 20 people have tested positive for the virus since Friday, according to a base news release Tuesday.

Of them, six had fallen ill with symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness associated with the coronavirus; three patients were identified by contact tracing; six are recent arrivals to Japan.

The remaining five are base employees: Two were discovered by contact tracing and three fell ill and tested positive, according to the base.

Another 16 were deemed recovered from the virus. The base said 68 patients are being monitored by the base hospital.

Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo, the headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan, reported four new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday.

All four individuals were already in mandatory, two-week isolation as required of new arrivals to Japan from the United States when their positive test results arrived, according to a base Facebook post. The base is monitoring seven patients, it said.

At Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, another six people tested positive, according to base Facebook posts Monday evening and Tuesday.

Tuesday, the base said a family member of a previously infected person tested positive while in quarantine since Thursday.

Monday, Kadena reported four individuals that “share the same work location or family unit” were quarantined Thursday after they were identified as close contacts of another infected person, according to the base. The fifth person, who recently traveled outside Japan, came up positive on a test required of anyone prior to exiting isolation.

Public health authorities on the base identified an unspecified number of close contacts and quarantined them, too, according to Kadena.

ditzler.joseph@stripes.com
Twitter: @JosephDitzler