Defense Department test positive for COVID-19 after touring military base

Seven Department of Defense (DOD) staff members tested positive after visiting military bases, according to a Pentagon report on Thursday.

The visits included multiple locations, with travel to bases in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan and Nebraska as part of visits by Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks and other team members. Hicks has tested negative.

The Travel

“During her visit, Deputy Secretary Hicks received briefings on the current threat environment and the status of U.S. strategic forces. She and STRATCOM leadership also discussed integrated deterrence and escalation management in the context of STRATCOM’s mission to “deter strategic attack and employ forces, as directed, to guarantee the security of our nation and our Allies,” a DOD report stated.

“Nebraska was the final stop on a multi-state tour which began December 13.

“During her travels, Deputy Secretary Hicks met with lawmakers, military leaders and service members to see first-hand the Department’s efforts to rapidly advance warfighting concepts and capabilities to meet advanced threats, and hear about challenges and successes within each command,” it added.

The Outbreak

“We have notified the proper authorities within the department, including all members of our traveling party, and contact tracing is being conducted,” Kirby said.

“We are also contacting hotels, bases and support personnel who may have come in contact with the traveling party,” she added.

The report of the positive cases comes as the nation faces increased restrictions following the spread of the recent Omicron variant.

The new variant reportedly spreads more easily than the Delta variant, though it has so far led to fewer hospitalizations.

The new positive cases, more frequently among those already vaccinated, are leading to new concerns regarding boosters and other discussions as the nation faces nearly two years of dealing with COVID-19.

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