Fort Campbell officials say the first case of the coronavirus at their installation is a dependent of a military retiree.
Colonel Patrick T. Birchfield is commander of the Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell. He said the person who tested positive lives in Tennessee and is isolated at home, off the installation. Officials are reaching out to those who might have been in contact with the individual to determine how many people might have been exposed.
He said pending the contact investigation, installation officials don’t yet know how the individual contracted the virus.
“What we do know is that they came in seeking testing because they were exhibiting some of the symptoms,” Birchfield said. “That test was taken about a week ago. They’ve been in quarantine the entire time and only have mild symptoms. They’re doing fine.”
He said as of Thursday, more than 250 people have been tested at the installation for coronavirus. This positive case follows measures implemented at Fort Campbell last week to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including closing the installation’s school system and restricting travel by soldiers.
Soldiers were allowed to travel within a radius of 80 miles outside of Fort Campbell, but that radius has shrunk, as of earlier this week, to 50 miles as coronavirus cases increase in Kentucky and Tennessee, said Birchfield.
Blanchfield Army Community Hospital has also suspended elective surgeries, and staff is questioning those about potential symptoms before entering the hospital. Birchfield said commanders have already held several calls with officials in Montgomery County and Christian County.
“Everybody is on the same sheet of music. We’re working in a symbiotic and synchronized fashion to try to take care of our local community as best we can,” Birchfield said.
This article has been updated.