(LEAD) 14 USFK-affiliated people test positive for COVID-19

February 1, 2021

Fourteen people affiliated with the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK), including 11 service members, have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the past two weeks, the U.S. military said Monday.

Of the total, 11 service members, a dependent and a civilian worker were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 upon their arrival here, while the other patient was a dependent of a U.S. Department of Defense official who has access to the U.S. military base in Yongsan, central Seoul, according to the USFK.

The dependent, who resides in Seoul, tested positive on Friday during his mandatory test required to exit quarantine, the U.S. military said, without further elaboration.

Of the newly arrived personnel, one of the service members and a dependent came on a U.S. government-chartered flight, while the others, including a civilian worker, arrived here on commercial flights via Incheon International Airport, west of the capital.

Nine of them tested positive on their first mandatory COVID-19 test prior to entering quarantine, and the four others were confirmed to have contracted the virus on a subsequent test required to exit quarantine.

All USFK-affiliated individuals arriving in South Korea are required to undergo a virus test and quarantine for 14 days. Medical personnel administer a second test prior to their release.

“Despite the recent confirmed cases, USFK remains at a high level of readiness with less than 1 percent of its active duty service members currently confirmed positive with COVID-19,” the U.S. military said in a release.

The latest cases raised the total number of infections reported among the USFK population to 696, most of whom tested positive upon their arrival here from the United States.

This photo, taken on Jan. 26, 2021, shows U.S. service members at Incheon airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

This photo, taken on Jan. 26, 2021, shows U.S. service members at Incheon airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)