Home : Media : Speeches/Transcripts

Speeches & Transcripts

USFK COVID-19 Archived Updates

| May 14, 2020

March 28, 2020

USAG Humphreys is currently operating at HPCON Charlie Plus "C+" while all other USFK installations are operating at HPCON Charlie. Please see below for the memo from the USFK Commander, and HPCON Charlie Plus "C+" graphics.

USFK HPCON Status:

Health Protection Charlie and Charlie Plus Conditions Comparison:

Core Tenets and HPCON Charlie Plus Information:

Health Protection Core Tenets and HPCON-Charlie Information:

USFK Commander's Memo on HPCON Levels for COVID-19:

March 8, 2020

USFK is aware of the Department of the Army's order to stop movement for all Army Soldiers and family members moving to or from South Korea or Soldiers scheduled to attend professional military education in the United States due to COVID-19 concerns.  We are analyzing the impacts this decision will have on those affected Soldiers on permanent change of station orders or scheduled to attending PME. The Army's order is in effect immediately through May 6, 2020 or until further notice.

If this applies to you, immediately contact your chain of command for further instructions.

USFK and 8th Army will identify and work with all Soldiers and families affected, especially those who have already had their furniture and vehicles packed and shipped, to minimize and lessen the impacts on their well-being.  The health and welfare of our service members and their families continues to be our top priority.

 

March 6, 2020

A USFK Korean National employee tested positive for COVID-19, making this the seventh USFK-related personnel to be confirmed with the virus.

The employee is currently in isolation at her off-base residence in Asan as directed by KCDC.

KCDC and USFK health professionals are actively conducting contact tracing to determine whether anyone else may have been exposed.

USFK remains at risk level “high” peninsula-wide and is implementing all appropriate control measures to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as a prudent measure to protect the force.

 

March 4, 2020

USFK will be using a mass notification system for COVID-19 updates. Messages sent will be labeled as Urgent, Priority, or Routine. We encourage service members and USFK personnel to ensure their cell phone numbers are registered correctly to receive the latest updates via text message.

All USFK associated personnel are encouraged to input their contact information into the USFK Alerts! System. A CAC card is no longer required to register.

Click here to Register

 

February 27, 2020

A United States Forces Korea employee who works at Camp Carroll tested positive for COVID-19, making this the third USFK-related person who has been confirmed with the virus.

The KCDC mandated home quarantine for the Korean National male since his wife tested positive on Feb. 22, and he is currently in isolation at a Daegu hospital.

The patient has not been in contact with any other USFK or USFK affiliated personnel since going into quarantine, and he last visited Camp Carroll five days ago on Feb. 20.

KCDC and USFK health professionals determined contact tracing was not necessary due to his quarantine measures and lack of interaction with others.

USFK remains at risk level "high" for USFK peninsula-wide and has implemented appropriate control measures as a prudent measure to protect the force.

 

February 26, 2020

Out of a strong abundance of caution and utilizing the USFK Commander's authorities to protect the USFK population from COVID-19, USFK raised its risk level to "HIGH" - also referred to as USFK's Health Protection Condition Charlie (HPCON C).

The following health protection measures associated with HPCON C are mandatory for USFK service members peninsula-wide and highly encouraged for family members, DoD civilian employees, contractors, and others who frequent USFK installations; this list is not comprehensive, and when in doubt, seek clarification from your chain of command:

- Service members are restricted from attending non-essential off-installation activities and social events including eat-in seated dining (take-out is allowed), shopping, bars, clubs, movie theaters or locations that have more than 20 people (waiverable by O6 CDR)

- Service members are allowed to conduct "necessary duties" off-post such as travel to and from work, groceries shopping and necessary item purchases (waiverable by O6 CDR)

- Civilian employees and contractors who are deemed non-essential personnel do not have to come to work; seek guidance from your immediate supervisor if this applies to you

Additional HPCON C mitigation measures can include the following and apply to everyone:

- limit non-mission essential in-person meetings, gatherings, and temporary duty travel and assignments

- expect longer wait time to access installations, temperature checks, and screening questionnaires at gates.

- limit and use extreme caution when travelling off-installation

In addition to the above, please continue to practice strict proper hygiene procedures:

- wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

- do not touch your face, nose or eyes with unclean hands

- avoid close or unnecessary contact with other, including handshaking.

- avoid non-mission essential large gatherings

- clean all common-use areas and items

- avoid travel or contact with others while sick

- most importantly -- if feeling sick or ill, avoid going to work, school or exposure to large gatherings and seek medical treatment

Remember, good hygiene practice is the best preventive measure to controlling the spread of viruses. We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

 

February 24, 2020

A USFK widowed dependent living in Daegu tested positive for COVID-19, making this the first time a USFK-related individual has tested positive for the virus. As a prudent measure to protect the force, USFK has raised the risk level to HIGH peninsula-wide.

Out of a strong abundance of caution and utilizing the USFK Commander's authorities to protect the force, expect the following health protection measures associated with a HIGH risk level:

- limit non-mission essential in-person meetings, gatherings, and temporary duty travel and assignments

- expect longer wait times, possible temperature checks and screening questionnaires at gates to access installations

- limit off-installation travel or use extreme caution when travelling off-installation

In addition to the above, please continue to practice strict proper hygiene procedures:

- wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

- do not touch your face or eyes with unclean hands

- avoid handshaking and close or unnecessary contact with others

- avoid non-mission essential large gatherings

- clean all common-use areas and items

- avoid travel or contact with others while sick

- most importantly -- if feeling sick or ill, avoid going to work, school or exposure to large gatherings and seek medical treatment

Good hygiene practice is the best preventive measure to controlling the spread of viruses. We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

 

February 23, 2020 at 6:45 p.m.

South Korea has reported the COVID-19 virus has been confirmed in 17 major provinces and cities, including Seoul, Daegu, Busan, Chinhae and now Pyeongtaek - all cities that are near USFK military bases - and has raised the virus alert level to "serious," the highest in their four-tier system.

The following Pyeongtaek locations are off-limits as they were known visitation spots of the confirmed patient: Champon Time Restaurant (짬뽕타임), McDonald’s Pyeongtaek SK Branch(맥도날드평택SK점), Hyundai Hyangchon Mart(현대 향촌마트), Nogaldae Potato Soup Restaurant(노걸대감자탕경기평택점) and Hill & Top Sports Climbing(힐앤토클라이밍).

As previous stated, USFK has implemented strong preventative control measures, and wants to ensure everyone is doing their part to help control the virus spread:

Follow and practice strict hygiene procedures including wash hands often with soap and water, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, avoid touching your face or eyes with unwashed hands, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and not hands, avoid handshaking, clean frequently used common areas, and most importantly, if you are feeling sick or ill, stay home - do not go to work or school - avoid exposure with others and seek medical treatment.

 

February 23, 2020 at 3:30 p.m.

There remains zero confirmed cases of USFK personnel with COVID-19 despite the rise in confirmed South Korean cases to more than 550 patients. USFK leadership and staff have strong preventative control measures in place.

Out of a strong abundance of caution and utilizing the USFK Commander's authorities to protect the force, the risk for USFK peninsula-wide personnel and installations remains MODERATE. Use the following health protection measures when the risk is MODERATE:

- Avoid handshaking and close of unnecessary contact with others

- Avoid large groups

- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available

- Clean all common-use items

- Avoid travel or contact with others while sick

- if feeling sick or ill, avoid going to work, school or exposure to large gatherings and seek medical treatment

Good hygiene practice is the best preventive measure to controlling the spread of viruses. We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

 

February 20, 2020:

There remains zero confirmed cases of USFK personnel with COVID-19 despite the rise in confirmed South Korean cases to more than 100 patients. Out of continued abundance of caution and utilizing the USFK Commander's authorities to protect the force, the risk for USFK peninsula-wide personnel and installations remains moderate.

To ensure USFK remains vigilant in preventing the spread of COVID-19 within USAG-Daegu and Area IV, the following prudent health protection measures are in effect: All service member mission-essential only travel to/from/around Daegu, and all service member non-mission essential travel to/from Daegu requires GO/FO authorization; this is highly encouraged for all family members, civilians and contractors.

All off-installation travel for all USFK populations should be minimized to reduce potential contamination. The following Daegu locations are off-limits: Club C (Dong-gu), Searonan Hospital, Queenvell Hotel, Shincheonji Church, Public Health Office (Suseong-gu) and Daegu Medical Center. The following two Daegu area hospitals are open: Daegu Fatima Hospital (International clinic: 053-940-7524) and Chilgok Kyungpook National University Medical Center (International clinic: 010-4122-2043); please call ahead to discuss your individual circumstances and exposure.

USAG-Daegu and Area IV child development centers and child & youth services activities will remain closed Friday, and a decision regarding next week closures will be made this weekend. In coordination with Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), USFK has agreed to close all USAG-Daegu and Area IV schools will remain closed Friday, and a decision regarding next week closures will be made this weekend. Good hygiene practice is the best preventive measure to controlling the spread of viruses. We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

 

February 19, 2020:

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Daegu, I want to emphasize the care and well-being of our Daegu service members, families and civilians is a top priority of mine. I’ve implemented the following proactive and precautionary measures to ensure USFK remains vigilant in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in Daegu to protect the force:

All service members who’ve attended the New World Church (Sin Cheon Ji Gyo hoe) since Feb. 9 will undergo a mandatory self-quarantine - and is highly recommended for family members, civilians and contractors - until KCDC completes their contact trace procedures to determine who has been exposed to COVID-19.

All service member's non-essential travel to and from Daegu will be prohibited, and off-installation travel minimized; I highly request all family members, civilians and contractors do likewise regarding their travel as well.

All USAG-Daegu and Area IV schools, child development centers, and child & youth services activities will be closed Thursday, and we will make a decision regarding a Friday closure tomorrow.

All visitors who are not performing mission essential or official business will be denied access to USAG-Daegu and Area IV military installations for the next 24 hours, and this directive will be reassessed every 24 hours.

As a Health Protection measure, I’ve elevated the risk for USFK peninsula-wide personnel and installations to moderate until KCDC completes its contact trace procedures.

Finally, good hygiene practice is the best preventive measure to controlling the spread of viruses. We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

 

USFK Update: February 13, 2020:

The U.S. Department of State issued a travel advisory to exercise increased caution for Hong Kong and Macau, and that the Republic of Korea added Hong Kong and Macau to its strict quarantine screening list meaning all travelers returning from these countries will undergo enhanced screening upon their return to South Korea; any US servicemember must obtain General Officer approval to travel to Hong Kong.

Additionally, the ROK government has issued a travel advisory for Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Japan.

USFK reminds all personnel that although additional USFK travel restrictions have not been imposed, travel to any of the above countries carries a risk of exposure to the Coronavirus and travelers should exercise increased precautions. USFK’s travel advisories of not restricting travel to the above mentioned countries follow Indo-Pacific Command and the U.S. Government’s direction.

 

February 11, 2020:

United States Forces Korea is aware the Republic of Korea has minimized travel to Hong Kong and Macau, starting Feb. 11, 2020. There are no current USFK travel advisories to these locations. USFK’s travel advisories follow Indo-Pacific Command and the U.S. Government’s direction.

From Gen. Robert B. "Abe" Abrams, USFK Commander, February 10, 2020:

The care and well-being of our servicemembers, families and civilians is a top priority of mine. Our Army, Air Force and Navy components are doing a great job of providing the best care possible for those who are in the self-quarantine program.

In particular, U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys quickly renovated one of their buildings to accommodate these soldiers, and they are safe and being well taken care of by the installation, leaders and others. All soldiers remain in good health, are monitoring their physical condition and providing their status to their leadership and health care providers daily.

I am extremely grateful that no one in USFK has contracted the novel coronavirus, and am appreciative of the family members and civilians who are also voluntarily following my self-quarantine directive. Remember, good hygiene practice is the best preventive measure to controlling the spread of viruses. We must protect the force and our community by maintaining our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

 

February 2, 2020:

Following the U.S. Health and Human Services’ announcement of a U.S. public health emergency related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, USFK has instituted a 14-day self-quarantine for U.S. servicemembers returning from mainland China to South Korea on or after Jan. 19, effective Sunday, Feb. 2 at noon.

The directed self-quarantine implementation is mandatory for US servicemembers, regardless if they reside on or off USFK installations, and is highly encouraged for family members, DoD civilians, contractors, United Nation Command military personnel and Korean National employees to follow as well in the interest of public health safety.

The 14-day quarantine, which equals the incubation period for novel coronavirus, begins from the date the individual(s) returns to S. Korea, regardless if they display symptoms or not.

USFK continues to stress that the overall risk to USFK personnel remains low, but that the quarantine measures implemented are out of an abundance of caution to mitigate risk to the USFK population.

 

February 1, 2020:

As you're aware, the novel coronavirus, originating from mainland China, is spreading globally and shares similar symptoms to the common cold and flu.

Good hygiene practices and minimizing contact with anyone who has returned from mainland China in the past 14 days, and who are exhibiting any cold or flu like symptoms, are the best prevention measures to controlling the spread. If you are feeling cold or flu-like symptoms, please go to a doctor immediately - more importantly, do not go to work or school. Stay at your home or in the barracks while you are recovering.

We must do our best to prevent the spread or it will have a significant impact on our "Fight Tonight" readiness!

We understand your concerns and we are monitoring this situation very closely, around the clock. We currently assess a low threat or risk to our USFK formations and installations.  We will keep you informed as the situation develops and if our assessment changes.