Camp Lejeune dependent tests positive for coronavirus
By THE DAILY NEWS Published: March 18, 2020
CAMP LEJEUNE (Tribune News Service) — Marine Corps Installations East has implemented Health Protection Condition Bravo (HPCON-B) following a confirmed coronavirus case at Camp Lejeune.
The patient, a Camp Lejeune dependent, tested presumptive positive for the virus at Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune, base officials announced Thursday.
The individual is currently receiving treatment in isolation while residing in on-base housing, according to a release from Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. The diagnosis follows the individual's exposure to a known coronavirus patient residing outside the Camp Lejeune area, officials said.
None of the dependent's family members have tested positive for the virus at this time.
HPCON-B is implemented across all Marine Corps Installations Eastinstallations in order "to maintain the readiness and protection of base personnel and families," according to a press release Tuesday evening from Nat Fahy, director of Communications Strategy and Operations for Marine Corps Installations East.
In a letter from J.D. Alford, Major General, U.S. Marine Corps, Commanding General, Marine Corps Installations East – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune on Tuesday, the installation is implementing Restriction of Movement measures intended to allow medical personnel to effectively care for the health of Marines, sailors and families of II MEF.
A number of military personnel are currently being restricted to their barracks or quarters out of an abundance of caution after returning from a high-risk area.
"No evidence exists that they came in contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19, nor are they exhibiting any signs of illness," Alford wrote. "The number of people under a ROM will likely increase as we receive more Marines from CDC designated high-risk areas. As previously announced, we have only one patient who tested positive for COVID-19 at this time. This COVID-19 positive patient is in isolation along with their family."
Military and medical leaders are taking precautions to prevent a potential outbreak, according to the release. Marine Corps Installations East personnel and Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune are reviewing best practices, honing their plans and remaining prepared should there be a need to increase to the next level of HPCON.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as a cough, fever and shortness of breath or have been exposed to the virus is asked to remain home and contact their health care professional for guidance, according to the release.
In HPCON-B, those on base are asked to practice social distancing, avoid crowded areas and stay home as much as possible, according to the release. Routinely clean surfaces, cough into your elbow, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.