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USFK imposes tougher process for installation access over coronavirus outbreak

Defense 10:19 February 25, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 25 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) has limited all service members' off-installation travel and implemented a tougher process for accessing garrisons following the first coronavirus case among its members.

On Monday, a 61-year-old USFK widowed dependent residing in the southeastern city of Daegu tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the U.S. military to raise the risk level to "high" from "moderate" across the country that calls for stronger countermeasures.

"Expect longer wait times, possible temperature checks and screening questionnaires at gates to access installations," USFK said in a release updated on its website late Monday.

It also limits off-installation travel, as well as non-mission essential in-person meetings, gatherings and temporary duty travel and assignments, according to the release.

After elevating the risk to "moderate" last week, USFK had placed limitations on its soldiers' travel to, from and around Daegu and called for minimizing outside travel for those living on their bases in Daegu and the surrounding regions. It also shut down children-related facilities at its Daegu garrison.

"We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our 'Fight Tonight' readiness," USFK said, stressing good hygiene practice as the best preventive measure to control the spread of viruses.

South Korea has seen a surge in the number of infections linked to a religious group in Daegu and a hospital in its adjacent county of Cheongdo since last week. As of 9 a.m. on Tuesday, a total of 893 cases had been confirmed in the country, including eight deaths.

U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) officials check vehicles at a gate of Camp Walker in South Korea's southeastern city of Daegu on Feb. 20, 2020. (Yonhap)


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