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US Army suspends soldier travel to and from South Korea and Italy amid mounting coronavirus concern

The US Army has suspended travel for American soldiers and their families to and from South Korea and Italy...

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 9:15 AM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 9:17 AM

The US Army has suspended travel for American soldiers and their families to and from South Korea and Italy amid mounting concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

"Out of an abundance of caution, Headquarters, Department of the Army has made the decision to stop movement and delay travel of Soldiers stationed in Italy and Korea, which have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control as alert level three for COVID-19," according to an order Sunday by the US Army.

The move comes as the coronavirus has killed more than 3,500 people, and infected over 105,000, according to CNN's tally -- with expanding outbreaks in South Korea and Italy. The new order will have the greatest impact on soldiers and families who have been ordered to move to their next duty station, as they might have been fully prepared to go to their next destination.

"Force Health Protection is the Army's top priority," the Army said. "Protecting the force includes mitigating the spread of the virus and ensuring personnel have the most up-to-date information on appropriate measures to prevent potential spread of COVID-19."

On Friday, a US Navy sailor stationed in Naples, Italy, became the first US servicemember stationed in Europe to test positive for coronavirus. And in a separate case last month, a US soldier stationed in South Korea tested positive -- the first US servicemember to do so.

In an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus among the armed forces, multiple military branches have begun screening new recruits.

While recruits are always screened for health issues, the coronavirus is now a particular concern for the US Navy, Air Force and Army, which have implemented new screening procedures as the virus spreads.

The steps underscore comments made by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley earlier this month that the military is planning for all scenarios as it faces the coronavirus.

"The United States military looks at a wide variety of scenarios," Milley earlier this month told reporters at the Pentagon, adding that "pandemic is the worst case."

Several defense officials previously told CNN that top commanders around the globe have become increasingly concerned that as allies shut down borders and travel in response to the virus' spread, there's a risk that military readiness may start degrading by the end of March.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
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