SAN ANTONIO – A trainee in the Air Force’s basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland has tested positive for COVID-19, Air Force officials announced Wednesday.
The trainee is the first to test positive for the novel coronavirus at basic military training, according to a news release. He reported to the base on March 18 and had been among 40 other trainees who were in a “restriction of movement” status out as a precaution.
When the patient showed symptoms, he was isolated from the other trainees.
Now, contact tracing is underway to determine any close contacts of the infected trainee. The trainee is receiving medical treatment and will be isolated until they recover.
“While a positive COVID-19 discovery is not desirable, the good news is we planned for this and our preparations worked. The trainees were restricted during the incubation period and this allowed for limited exposure,” Lt. Gen. Brad Webb, commander of Air Education and Training Command, said. “Practices put into place allow for the identification of COVID-19, while limiting the pool of individuals who can be infected. We take preparing for worst case scenarios seriously and that planning has paid off.”
The 40 other trainees have been placed under quarantine.
In all, approximately 600 trainees arrived to the base on March 18 and were screened and placed under the restriction of movement status for 14 days to monitor for symptoms of the virus that has a caused a global pandemic. During the restriction, trainees’ exposure to other populations is “extremely limited" and social distancing is enforced, according to the news release.
The news release does not detail how the trainee was exposed to the virus.
As of Monday, 15 JBSA personnel have also tested positive for COVID-19.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March.
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