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1st COVID case hits SOCOM HQ

A civilian assigned to U.S. Special Operations Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida, tested positive on March 21 for COVID-19.

It is the first confirmed case at SOCOM’s headquarters at MacDill Air Force Base, according to a media release. MacDill, also home to U.S. Central Command, has already had at least two other personnel test positive for the virus that has killed nearly 20,000 around the world.

On Monday, officials at the 6th Air Refueling Wing, the MacDill host unit, announced they were monitoring three positive cases of COVID-19. The base, which is currently set at HPCON Bravo, declared a public health emergency Monday after the confirmation of the three cases.

The civilian has been isolated at home, according to the release, and is receiving appropriate medical care. The individual had not returned to work or the base since March 13.

Coworkers who were in close proximity with the civilian are quarantined in their homes.

Officials at SOCOM provided no other details beyond the release.

Approximately 3,000 people work at the headquarters, which was recently elevated to mission-essential status to help reduce exposure to the virus.

It’s up to the discrepancy of each director to designate individuals deemed essential to their organizations’ mission and current actions, according to spokesman Ken McGraw. The rest of the staff is able to telework.

McGraw could not specify how many mission-essential personnel are at the headquarters.

The Pentagon’s latest data shows 174 confirmed COVID-19 cases among military personnel, up 41 from Monday.

Earlier today, Defense Secretary Mark Esper urged the military to use more social distancing to stem the spread of the virus.

Last week, a sailor assigned to CENTCOM began undergoing evaluation and treatment following a positive novel coronavirus test, the command said Saturday morning.

The sailor is believed to have contracted COVID-19 during recent travel prior to returning to Tampa on March 15. The sailor did not travel to MacDill, however, and instead immediately entered self-quarantine at his home.

The sailor returned to MacDill on March 18 when he began developing symptoms. After calling ahead to the MacDill Health Clinic, he was met outside the facility by medical professionals for his test.

“There are no immediate, additional restrictions in place; however, they may be implemented in the future,” the base Facebook page announced.

“Team MacDill continues to closely monitor the situation and work with community leaders and partners to keep service members, families, and the local community healthy and well-informed. “

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