Officials at Fort Leonard Wood said Sunday evening that it has detected an outbreak of COVID-19 within a unit at the Pulaski County installation.

During a two-day period, military health professionals with the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital at Fort Leonard Wood conducted COVID-19 testing on about 500 soldiers and trainees assigned to the 1st Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, and of those, about 70 had positive test results. Due to the aggressive mitigation strategies in place, the number of infected and exposed individuals has been minimized to the greatest extent possible, and contained within one training unit, it said in a statement

Affected individuals have been isolated or quarantined as appropriate and in accordance with CDC guidelines. In addition, all impacted buildings, dining facilities and training areas within the unit area have been sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines. The admission comes as it previously had adopted a policy not to release information about the number of cases.

Upon arrival to Fort Leonard Wood, all 500 soldiers and trainees were medically screened and tested by GLWACH health professionals at the beginning of their 14-day controlled monitoring phase of basic combat training and all test results at that time were negative. Four days after the end of the group’s controlled monitoring phase, a trainee reported to Harper In-processing Health Screening Facility with symptoms, and immediately, all 500 were tested again, resulting in the increased positive test results.

All those who tested positive are being cared for and monitored according to CDC guidelines and have been isolated to prevent the potential spread to others, the installation said. Most of those who tested positive are asymptomatic and none are hospitalized at the fort’s hospital.

Contact tracing continues to be performed and aggressive measures are continuing to be used to ensure that further spread of COVID-19 is minimized. Fort Leonard Wood continues the strict enforcement of social distancing and the wearing of cloth face coverings to mitigate the spread of the virus.

“Our people — military, civilians and families — and their health, welfare and safety are our highest priority. We continue to assess, refine and coordinate prevention and response efforts on post and in the local area to ensure the well-being of our personnel and local population. Fort Leonard Wood leadership remain in close coordination with local and state public health authorities and have assessed that the local communities are not at an increased risk,” according to the statement.

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