Fort Lee soldier tests positive for COVID-19

By: Michael Campbell | Twitter: @itsthesoup
Posted: March 25, 2020 | 12:06 p.m.

FORT LEE – Military officials confirmed Tuesday evening that a service member stationed at Fort Lee has tested positive for coronavirus.

While few details were released by the base, Fort Lee officials said the individual had been quarantined for suspected infection with COVID-19 and is now in monitored isolation receiving medical care as professionals at the Kenner Army Health Clinic on base are working to track the person’s recent activity and contact those who may have been in contact with them and potentially exposed to the virus.

“Leaders from our senior commander down to our company commanders are committed to the continued safety of our entire community and are actively engaged and monitoring COVID-19,” said Col. Hollie Martin, Fort Lee garrison commander. “We are continuing to coordinate with military and civilian health care agencies to mitigate the effects of this virus in our collective fight to flatten the curve.”

As of Tuesday, the Virginia Department of Health reported over 250 cases of COVID-19 across the Commonwealth, which included 45 hospitalizations and seven deaths from the disease. By Wednesday, that number would rise by over 140, one of the largest single-day increases to date, to 391 cases, with an additional 14 hospitalizations, and two deaths.

Within those numbers, the Crater Health District, which is made up of Prince George, Dinwiddie, Sussex, Surry, and the Tri-Cities had no reported cases.

According to VDH, over 5,300 people have been tested.

The military base joined many other facilities and organizations in modifying their operations as COVID-19 continues to spread across the state and nation. Earlier this month, guest attendance for graduation ceremonies was suspended and events that were expected to draw large groups of people, including performances at the Lee Playhouse, were either postponed or completely canceled. 

“Two measures are necessary to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, avoiding exposure and containment if someone becomes sick,” they said. “We have implemented hands-free ID card checks at our gates. Kenner and other health facilities are asking patients who feel they may have been exposed to COVID-19 to call first and get instructions. Do not show up at clinics without prior coordination.”

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to balloon across America, particularly in hard-hit areas like New York. with over 55,000 cases reported across the United States as of Wednesday, third only to Italy and China. When looking at state-by-state data, over 30,000 cases were reported across New York and New Jersey, with New York reportedly having over 26,000 positive cases. 

Internationally, there have been over 400,000 cases of COVID-19 reported with over 19,600 deaths.

To lower the risk of respiratory germ spread, including COVID-19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages the following effective behaviors:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

Information about COVID-19 is being shared as it becomes available on the following websites: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/. Also, consult www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirusfor the latest number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Health has also activated a public information line, 877-ASK-VDH3, for questions from residents about the novel coronavirus situation.

Copyright 2020 by Womack Publishing
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