SAN DIEGO — A Marine currently stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego is presumed positive for the coronavirus/COVID-19, base officials announced Thursday. Officials said the Marine is part of I Marine Expeditionary Force and is receiving treatment in isolation while the Centers for Disease Control confirm the test results.
He is considered the 2nd confirmed Marine to test positive for coronavirus. On March 7, it was reported that a Marine based in Virginia also tested positive.
A second Marine with I MEF is also under investigation with restricted movement at Camp Pendleton. He is receiving daily medical checks by Navy medical personnel.
Base officials reported that an investigation is underway to identify personnel who may have been in close contact with either Marine. As of Thursday, no one who had been in contact was showing symptoms.
The clinic that first conducted the COVID-19 screening has been sanitized, they said.
“We are taking every precaution to preserve the integrity of our warfighting forces, and stand ready to protect the health of our Marines, Sailors, family members, civilian employees, and our local communities," said Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman, commanding general of I MEF. "We understand the severity of this situation and are deliberate in our actions to help diminish the impact of COVID-19, but this has in no way degraded our operational readiness or the ability of our forces to rapidly deploy in support of missions in defense of our nation."
MCAS Miramar is one of the bases that has been housing civilians during the quarantine period after leaving the Grand Princess cruise ship docked in Oakland, CA.
The Marine did not likely get the virus from the quarantined civilians housed on base, a military official told the Marine Corps Times. It is believed that the individual was exposed while in Washington state visiting family while on leave.
Base officials said neither Marine had contact with the group evacuated from the cruise ship.
According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.
The CDC also says facemasks should only be used by people who show symptoms of the virus. If you’re not sick, you do not have to wear a facemask. The CDC says the immediate risk to the U.S. public is low.