At least 18 people with ties to Naval Air Station Jacksonville and tenant commands have been tested for the new strain of coronavirus and are confined to their residences while they await results, according to base and Navy Region Southeast spokespeople.
Arwen FitzGerald, a spokesperson for Navy Region Southeast, told Navy Times in an email that the individuals are considered under investigation for COVID-19 and are receiving “supportive and medical care in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local guidelines.”
The base did not have any “presumptive positive” cases as of early afternoon Tuesday, FitzGerald said.
She did not provide a breakdown of whether the cases were related, or how many were active duty, civilian employees or their family members.
Kaylee Larocque, a spokesperson for NAS Jacksonville, said the tests performed at Naval Hospital Jacksonville.
The base is in “Health Protection Condition Bravo ‘Moderate,’ which means all personnel must follow strict hygiene,” Laroque said in an email.
That means common areas are being disinfected. There are no handshakes. Those with symptoms of the coronavirus or who have been exposed to those with it are told to self-isolate and contact their medical care provider.
“We are continuing with our mission of supporting the warfighters, which means keeping the airfield open and will do so as long as possible,” Laroque said in an email. “We are prepared to limit staff personnel by allowing them to telework, however some personnel cannot telework in their current job positions.”
As of Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health had reported a total of 192 cases among residents and non-residents.
Duval County, in which Jacksonville is located, had reported six cases, with patients ranging in age from 57 to 91, with one of those cases confirmed as travel-related.
This is a breaking story. It will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Courtney Mabeus is a senior writer at Navy Times. Mabeus previously covered the military for The Virginian-Pilot, in Norfolk, Va., where she first set foot on an aircraft carrier.