A U.S. soldier in South Korea has tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday, the first U.S. service member to do so.
The 23-year-old male is based in Camp Carroll, which is around 20 kilometers from Daegu, where more than half of the cases in the country have been confirmed.
He is currently in self-quarantine at his off-base residence.
The soldier had been at Camp Carroll since last Friday and visited Camp Walker in Daegu earlier this week.
A USFK dependent, who was confirmed on Monday to have contracted the virus, had also visited Camp Walker two weeks ago.
Local health authorities, along with USFK health professionals, are using contact tracing to find others who may have been exposed.
In efforts to cease the spread of the epidemic, USFK is minimizing outdoor activities and has strengthened screening methods at base entrances.
It also advised all personnel to practice strict proper hygiene procedures and to refrain from going to school or work if any symptoms begin to show.
Because of the spike in COVID-19 cases, Joint Chief of Staff Chairman General Park Han-ki, and his counterpart, USFK Commander General Robert Abrams, are reviewing the adjustment of their joint drills scheduled for early March.
They are considering reducing the scale of the exercises, postponing or even cancelling.
A decision is expected to be announced this week.
If South Korean and U.S. military leaders decide to reduce or cancel the joint drills, it will be the first time in doing so due to an infectious disease.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.