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(2nd LD) Female U.S. soldier at Camp Humphreys tests positive for coronavirus, total at 11

National 11:11 March 27, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS more details in paras 5-6, 8)

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- A female American soldier stationed at the U.S. Forces Korea's Pyeongtaek garrison tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of USFK-related infections to 11, the military said Friday.

The soldier at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 70 kilometers south of Seoul, was the second U.S. service member stationed in South Korea to contract the COVID-19 virus.

She is currently in isolation at a barracks inside the camp designed to house the new coronavirus patients, USFK said, adding that the soldier last reported for work and visited various locations in the compound on Thursday.

"USFK is actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether anyone else may have been exposed, and is thoroughly cleaning all the known locations she's visited in the last 48 hours," USFK said in a release.

All movement inside the garrison is restricted only to bare necessaries -- food, health and safety -- and public transportation services have been halted, which will continue until further notice, according to the military.

"Everyone needs breath through their nose and remain calm. Guidance coming out now through watch teams," USFK Commander Gen. Robert Abrams tweeted, noting that he is also working from his quarters.

USFK remains at a level of "high" risk across the peninsula and is implementing diverse control measures to stop the spread of the virus. On Wednesday, Abrams also declared a public health emergency, which was meant to ensure commanders' authorities to issue related guidance and enforce compliance, according to his office.

South Korea added 91 virus patients on Friday to bring the total to 9,332 cases, including 139 deaths, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (KCDC).

A military guard at U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, checks the temperature of a driver to screen entrants to the compound for the novel coronavirus on Feb. 28, 2020, in the photo provided by United States Forces Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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