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Fort Sill teen, who tested positive for coronavirus, dies in Oklahoma hospital

By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 14, 2020

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AUSTIN, Texas — The 13-year-old child of a Fort Sill, Okla., service member who tested positive for the coronavirus died Friday in an area hospital, according to base officials.

Officials for the base did not say whether contracting coronavirus resulted in the teenager’s death at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, located in Lawton, the city just outside the gates of Fort Sill. However, Oklahoma classified the teen as the state’s first person younger than 17 years old to die from coronavirus

“Our entire Lawton-Fort Sill community is deeply saddened. Our greatest condolences go out to the family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them in this difficult and sad time,” Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, commander of Fort Sill, said in a statement.

The family members received notification of a positive coronavirus test result and are isolating in their on-base residence in Comanche County, according to base officials. The family is following all protective measures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reynolds Army Health Clinic, the hospital at Fort Sill, will continue to support the county in tracing where contact with others on the base might have occurred and will notify those individuals who might have been impacted and who fall under the guidelines for additional monitoring and testing — an effort lead off base by the Comanche County Health Department.

“We will continue to work alongside our local health partners to fight coronavirus,” according to a base news release. “The health and safety of our service members, families, work force and the entire Lawton-Fort Sill community remain our top priority.”

No further information will be released about the dependent to respect the family and comply with Defense Department guidance.

Fort Sill is home to the Fires Center of Excellence, which conducts training for field artillery soldiers and officers, as well as Marines. About 7,800 service members are permanently stationed at Fort Sill, while it supports about 9,000 trainees daily, according to the base information guide. It has more than 81,000 acres divided into three ranges for training. 

Thayer.rose@stripes.com
Twitter: @Rose_Lori 

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