Fort Benning confirms more than 140 basic trainees tested positive for COVID-19

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FORT BENNING, Ga. (WRBL) — More than 140 soldiers training on post at Fort Benning have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to an Army news release Sunday night.

The soldiers were part of a basic training unit at Fort Benning, according to the news release. There were 640 soldiers tested and 142 came back positive over a two-day period. The total includes at least two drill sergeants.

This is the first time Fort Benning officials have released specific details on the numbers of COVID-19 cases in almost two months.

There have been 615 confirmed cases in Muscogee County since the pandemic started.

“Upon arrival to Fort Benning, all 640 future Soldiers were medically screened and tested by medical professionals at the beginning of their 14-day controlled monitoring phase of One-Station Unit Training and all but four test results at that time were negative,” according to the Fort Benning release. “Those future soldiers tested positive upon arrival were isolated for fourteen (14) days, have since recovered and received negative results on subsequent tests.”

Nearly a week later one trainee reported to his unit leadership with symptoms.

“Immediately, all 640 across the two units were tested again, resulting in the increased positive test results,” the news release stated.

“Due to the aggressive mitigation strategies in place, the number of infected and exposed individuals has been minimized to the greatest extent possible and contained within one training company in the OSUT battalion and within the 30th AG Reception battalion respectively,” the Benning statement read. “Infected individuals have been isolated or quarantined as appropriate and in accordance with CDC guidelines.  In addition, all impacted buildings, common areas, dining facilities, and training areas within the unit area have been sanitized in accordance with CDC guidelines.”

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