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US Forces Korea reports new infections, total 12

United States Forces Korea said Friday that a soldier and a contract worker at Camp Humphreys, its headquarters in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, had tested positive for COVID-19, bringing its tally to 12. Korea hosts 28,500 US troops here.

Of the 12 patients, two were soldiers -- one at Camp Humphreys, the other at Camp Carroll near Daegu -- and the rest were either the service members’ family or contract employees working for the US military.

Two days ago, USFK declared a public health emergency, in line with the highest level of alert issued by the US State Department and the World Health Organization.

USFK said the measure did not mean an increased risk level, but was a symbolic reminder that the commander would exercise authority to enforce compliance with required precautions to contain the coronavirus outbreak at US bases in Korea.

USFK Commander Robert Abrams said noncompliant military personnel could be banned from entry to US installations for two years. Over the weekend, two US soldiers were found dead at the headquarters in Pyeongtaek. The US military said the deaths were not linked to the virus.

As of Friday, Korea’s military reported 39 infections and 1,520 people under quarantine. Twenty-nine of the patients recovered from the virus.

By Choi Si-young (
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Korea Herald daum