Virginia-Based Marine Is State's 1st Coronavirus Case

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Fort Belvoir Community Hospital
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (Image via Tricare.mil)

Hours after news broke of the first confirmed coronavirus case affecting a U.S. service member in Europe, Pentagon officials announced that a Marine from Fort Belvoir, Virginia, near Washington, D.C., has tested positive for the disease.

In a statement from the Defense Department released Saturday evening, officials said the Marine had tested positive for coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19, that same day, and is now being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

"The Marine recently returned from overseas where he was on official business," the announcement stated. "The Secretary of Defense has been briefed. The White House has been notified."

Fort Belvoir is in Fairfax County, Virginia; the Marine is the state's first publicly announced case of the rapidly spreading virus.

Related: A US Sailor in Europe Has Been Diagnosed with Coronavirus

In an online statement, officials with the Virginia Department of Health said Gov. Ralph Northam had been briefed on the development.

"Officials at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and the Virginia Department of Health are working cooperatively, according to longstanding public health protocols," officials said. "The teams are in regular and close communication with federal, state, local, and private sector partners."

Risk of the disease's spread in Virginia remains low, officials said.

News of the Marine's diagnosis comes the same day a sailor based in Naples, Italy was also confirmed to have coronavirus. There are now three confirmed cases affecting U.S. troops; a 23-year-old soldier in South Korea has also tested positive for COVID-19.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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