Two soldiers test positive for coronavirus after arriving in South Korea from the US

51st Fighter Wing medical staff screen an airman for coronavirus symptoms before he enters Osan Air Base, South Korea, Friday, April 3, 2020.


By STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 30, 2020

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SEOUL, South Korea — Two newly assigned American soldiers tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in South Korea on a government-chartered flight from the United States, the military said Saturday.

The confirmation raised to 30 the number of coronavirus cases linked to U.S. Forces Korea, including six active-duty service members, but the command said all other patients have recovered.

The soldiers were tested according to procedure after arriving on the Patriot Express at Osan Air Base on Wednesday and received the results while in mandatory quarantine at Camp Humphreys, according to a press release.

“Since testing positive, the soldiers have been moved to Camp Humphreys’ isolation barracks designated for confirmed COVID-19 cases,” USFK said, referring to the disease that is caused by the virus.

USFK health professionals cleaned and disinfected the plane, the quarantine bus and the soldiers’ quarantine rooms.

However, officials said there was a limited need for contact tracing since all arrivals in South Korea must be tested and quarantined for two weeks as part of measures aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus.

Only two service members contracted the respiratory disease while in South Korea. The others tested positive upon arrival from abroad.

“USFK remains at a high level of readiness with only two active duty service members who are currently confirmed positive for COVID-19 as all other USFK- affiliated persons have recovered,” it said.

At least 28,500 American service members are stationed in South Korea.