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US troops test positive for coronavirus after traveling to South Korea

Service members from the 51st Medical Operations Squadron prepare to administer coronavirus tests at Osan Air Base, South Korea, July 14, 2020.

MATTHEW KEELER/STARS AND STRIPES

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 17, 2020

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SEOUL, South Korea — Five more American troops tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling from the United States to South Korea, the military said Monday, raising the total number of patients affiliated with U.S. Forces Korea to 157.

Three of the service members arrived at Osan Air Base on government-chartered flights that landed on Aug. 1, Aug. 3 and Saturday, USFK said. The other two arrived on commercial flights at Incheon International Airport on Aug. 11 and Thursday.

None had contact with the outside community because of strict testing and quarantine requirements for those traveling to South Korea, according to a USFK press release.

Three of the individuals tested positive on their first mandatory coronavirus test before entering the two-week quarantine, while the other two received positive results in the test required to exit quarantine, USFK said.

All have since been transferred to isolation facilities designated for coronavirus patients at Camp Humphreys or Osan Air Base, it added. Affected transportation assets and quarantine rooms also had been thoroughly cleaned.

Only 24 USFK personnel contracted the virus while stationed on the divided peninsula, with the last case confirmed in mid-April. The others tested positive after flying to South Korea for new assignments or returning from travels abroad.

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