Army Announces 3-Star General Will Work Remotely After Possible Virus Exposure

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Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli gives a speech at  at Hohenfels training area, Germany.
Commanding General of U.S. Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli gives a speech at the Polish Rededication Ceremony at Hohenfels training area, Germany, Jan. 27, 2020. (U.S. Army/Spc. Audrequez Evans, JMRC Public Affairs)

The Army announced Monday that the commander of U.S. Army Europe and members of his staff may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus.

Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy put out a statement Monday afternoon on Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli's condition, just two days after the Pentagon announced that a U.S. sailor and a Marine had tested positive with the potentially deadly virus, formally known as COVID-19.

"The commander of U.S. Army Europe, along with several staff members, may have been exposed to COVID-19 during a recent conference," McCarthy said in the statement. "Out of an abundance of caution and following recommended protocols, he and others potentially affected are self-monitoring and working remotely to fulfill their command duties and responsibilities."

USAREUR public health officials have notified all other U.S. personnel who were at risk of exposure, according to the statement.

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

The news comes after a Marine, who was returning from a recent deployment overseas, tested positive Saturday and is now being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

Just hours before, a U.S. sailor, based out of the Naval Support Activity in Naples, Italy, tested positive for the virus. There are now three confirmed cases of COVID-19 affecting U.S. service members. The first was a 23-year-old soldier in South Korea.

The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command are researching efforts to control, contain and prevent the virus, according to the statement.

"The U.S. Army has top-notch researchers and cutting-edge technology that are helping to develop preventive measures and treatments," McCarthy said in the statement. "We are conducting daily assessments of the situation and are consulting with medical professionals, the joint and OSD staff, our exercise host nations, and other allies and partners.

"Our nation, our Army, our allies and potential adversaries should know that our Soldiers remain ready," he added.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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