Posted: 2021-09-15 19:00:00
Objectives: This study presents the response of a military unit to the COVID-19 outbreak in Gyeonggi Province. As soon as two soldiers were identified as index cases, the infectious disease investigators of the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency and the Armed Forces Epidemiologic Investigation Center, discussed the investigation and response plan for an imminent massive outbreak. Methods: The joint immediate response team (IRT) conducted interviews with confirmed patients with COVID-19, reviewed medical records, performed contact tracing using global positioning system (GPS), and undertook a field investigation. For risk assessment, the joint IRT visited all eight sites of the military units and the army chaplain's church to evaluate the transmission risk of each site. The evaluation items included the size of the site, the use of air conditioning, whether windows were opened, and whether masks were worn. A pooled testing was used for a low-risk population to quickly detect the spread of COVID-19 in the military base. Results: A day before the symptom onset of the index case, the lecturer and >50% of the attendees were infected with COVID-19 while attending a lecture that lasted 2 h and 30 min. Attendees were not wearing masks and were in a poorly ventilated room. Conclusion: Since the disease can be spread before symptom onset, contact tracing must be performed to investigate potential exposures prior to symptom onset and manage any exposed persons. Keywords: COVID-19; Epidemiologic Investigation; Military-Unit; Outbreak.
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