The U.S. Army has quarantined 90 soldiers and instructors in the Special Forces school who tested positive for the coronavirus during a survival course at Fort Bragg.
A total of 110 people participated in the course, which was cut short after a single soldier tested positive. Subsequent tests then showed that 82 students and 8 instructors had COVID-19, Army spokeswoman Janice Burton said Wednesday.
“We had about five people symptomatic and that’s it,” said Burton. “But we went ahead and tested everyone out of an abundance of caution. And they came back and we were like, ‘OK, glad we did this.’”
All 110 of the course participants are now quarantined, although the 20 people who did not test positive were separated from the rest, she said. None of the soldiers has needed hospitalization, according to Burton.
Their course, called Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, is naturally isolated from Fort Bragg's other special warfare courses, the Army said. The class is part of the regimen to become a Green Beret.
Guidelines were implemented at Fort Bragg to prevent the spread of coronavirus, and some classes were shifted online. Portions of classes that could not be taught online were closely monitored. Students taking the survival course were tested prior to training and received daily welfare checks.
“The health and wellness of our students and staff is our top priority,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson. “We will do everything we can to protect our students and their families.”