Fort Drum soldiers returning from South Korea placed in quarantine

Fort Drum soldiers quarantined

FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWNY) - Forty soldiers returning to Fort Drum from South Korea will be quarantined for 14 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is advising people not to travel to South Korea because of a COVID-19 outbreak there.

Fort Drum officials say the quarantine is part of the Army's rapidly evolving effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

The soldiers are from the 59th Chemical Company, which is stationed at Fort Drum and reports to the 10th Mountain Division Sustainment Brigade.

Maj. Harold Huff says the soldiers are at low risk for carrying the virus, but the Army is being cautious.

“By quarantining these soldiers, we’re mitigating risk they can unknowingly expose families and others to this virus,” he said.

The soldiers will be quarantined in empty barracks and monitored by health care professionals.

Any soldier showing symptoms will be immediately moved into isolation and treated.

"There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Fort Drum," Huff saod. "Nor have we had someone present symptoms that would lead us to test for according to the CDC protocol."

Fort Drum is following guidelines set by the CDC that numerically assesses the risk of being exposed to COVID-19 in a country.

Level three is the highest, while level one is the lowest.

According to Huff, there’s currently a freeze on moving soldiers and families into countries with a level two or three distinction for things like a permanent change of station or temporary duty

That applies to soldiers and families coming to Fort Drum from level three countries, too.

People moving from a level two country can come on post with a condition.

"If you're coming from another level two country, the expectation is that once you get here, if you come to Fort Drum, that you'll go through the 14-day quarantine as well," Huff said.

At Fort Drum’s gates, personnel stationed there will no longer be handling ID cards. Drivers will be asked to hold cards out and turn them over to be scanned.

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