MCAS Miramar Marine contracts coronavirus, another Marine suspected after Washington state visit

Posted at 10:57 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 22:18:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A U.S. Marine stationed at MCAS Miramar has tested presumptive positive for coronavirus after returning from leave in Washington state.

The Marine was returning to the base from leave in Washington state where he was visiting family, which is where officials believe he contracted the virus, officials on base familiar with the matter told 10News.

A high level source in the military added that the Marine was tested on base for the virus after feeling ill and placed into quarantine while results were pending. The Marine is currently at home under quarantine, off base, that source added.

A second Marine who returned from leave in Washington with the first service member is currently considered a person under investigation at Camp Pendleton. There, the second Marine is getting daily medical checks, according to I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF).

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I MEF said both Marines self-reported feeling ill after returning. Neither Marine had any contact with the passengers from the Grand Princess cruise ship under quarantine MCAS Miramar.

The medical clinic that conducted the coronavirus screening has been sanitized and all I MEF Marines and sailors are following hygiene and sanitation guidelines from the CDC, according to I MEF.

“We are taking every precaution to preserve the integrity of our warfighting forces, and stand ready to protect the health of our Marines, Sailors, family members, civilian employees, and our local communities," said Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commanding general of I MEF. "We understand the severity of this situation and are deliberate in our actions to help diminish the impact of COVID-19, but this has in no way degraded our operational readiness or the ability of our forces to rapidly deploy in support of missions in defense of our nation."

Any Marines experiencing flu-like symptoms are asked to stay home and contact a doctor on base to visit them, officials said. All service members are required to self-report to medical personnel if they believe they are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, I MEF added.

Symptoms for the coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Health experts encourage people to cover their cough or sneeze, wash their hands thoroughly and often, stay home if feeling ill, avoid touching their face and mouth, and clean surfaces often to protect themselves against the virus.