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Fort Jackson officials say soldier in training tested negative for coronavirus, share protocols and plans

Fort Jackson officials say soldier in training tested negative for coronavirus, share protocols...
Fort Jackson officials say soldier in training tested negative for coronavirus, share protocols and plans(Jason Raven)
Updated: Mar. 8, 2020 at 10:16 AM EDT
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FORT JACKSON, S.C. (WIS) - According to officials at Fort Jackson, a soldier in training has tested negative for the coronavirus.

The soldier was screened and designated as a 'patient under investigation' by doctors on-post, Brigadier General Milford Beagle told WIS Saturday morning.

The solder was taken off-post and was quarantined just in case they had COVID-19. "Given the screening protocols and what was triggered, we aired on the side of caution," Brig. Gen. Beagle said.

According to Brig. Gen. Beagle, the soldier was showing symptoms and had recently traveled. The soldier tested negative for the coronavirus, officials said.

Brig. Gen. Beagle said as of Saturday morning there are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at Fort Jackson. "The biggest concern for me is reducing and minimizing panic," he said.

Brig. Gen. Beagle said he is very confident in the protocols and plans they have implemented.

Officials on-post said they are doubling down their efforts to prevent, detect and contain the coronavirus. "We are changing habits" Brig. Gen. Beagle said.

Soldiers and others at Fort Jackson are encouraged to do ‘elbow-bumps’ instead of shaking hands. “We do not handshake on installation,” Brig. Gen. Beagle said.

Fort Jackson officials have a tiered system in place for prevention that includes steady state, limited access, social distancing, and full closure. They will base their scale of response measures based on the situation and guidance from DHEC and the CDC.

Brig. Gen. Beagle said right now they screen soldiers and recruits for COVID-19 at Fort Jackson. They ask soldiers about recent travel, ask about exposure to anyone confirmed with COVID-19 and conduct a medical assessment. Brig. Gen Beagle said, “I’m very confident in our ability to isolate and contain with the procedures and processes we have in place.”

According to officials, they have also increased sanitation measures and ask anyone who is sick to stay home like they routinely do during flu season.

ID card procedures at the gates have been modified as well Fort Jackson officials said.

Garrison Commander Colonel Wes Hankins said gate guards are not handling the cards when they check them. They are asking drivers to hold on to the ID cards.

Brig. Gen. said at this time there are no plans to cancel family days or graduations at Fort Jackson.

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