U.S. Forces Korea has banned a U.S. contractor from access to any U.S. military installations in Korea — after the contractor failed to comply with an order to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19, the command said.
The contractor, who was based out of Camp Humphreys, had direct contact with a co-worker who tested positive for the virus, and was subsequently ordered to remain in quarantine to monitor for symptoms. Instead, the contractor headed on base, per the command.
The ban is for two years and took effect on April 14, 2020.
“The individual chose to non-comply with the quarantine directive and visited the PX and the commissary,” USFK said in a statement on Twitter. “This individual’s disregard for USFK’s public health guidance and health protection conditions jeopardizes the safety of all USFK personnel and families.”
USFK told Military Times the individual’s name would not be released, due to privacy reasons.
In March, USFK commander Gen. Robert Abrams announced a public health emergency until April 23 to properly enforce restrictions to safeguarding against COVID-19. He also announced that those who fail to comply could be penalized and restricted from military installations, Stars & Stripes reported.
“Now is not the time to lower our guard,” Abrams said in a statement last month. “Everyone must do their part to protect the force, stop the spread and kill the virus.”
The soldier first tested positive on Feb. 26, and had been on Camp Carroll and neighboring Camp Walker days prior. But after taking two consecutive COVID-19 tests that both came back negative, the soldier has now been cleared from isolation and is awaiting word from his chain of command about returning to duty.
The soldier is not the only USFK personnel to recover from COVID-19. The command said Thursday that ten other USFK-related U.S. and Korean National dependents and civilians have also recovered.
According to USFK, only two active duty service members with USFK have tested positive for COVID-19. The command has reported a total of two dozen COVID-19 cases, including contractors and dependants.