Pentagon Says Seven Staff Members Tested Positive for COVID-19 After Base Tour

© REUTERS / CARLO ALLEGRIPeople queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 13, 2021
People queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test in Times Square during the COVID-19 pandemic in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 13, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - At least seven staff members who travelled with Deputy Defence Secretary Kathleen Hicks to Hawaii last week have tested positive for COVID-19 and are quarantined at the moment, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday.

"Seven members of the travelling and advance staff who accompanied Deputy Secretary Hicks on her domestic trip last week have tested positive for COVID-19," Kirby said in a statement. "All staff members who tested positive are quarantined, in keeping with CDC guidelines."

Deputy Secretary Hicks and members of her personal staff have tested negative, Kirby added.
On 14-15 December, Hicks visited the Department of Defence sites in Hawaii and met with the US Indo-Pacific Command to discuss the US strategy in the region.
The news comes as the United States is experiencing a new surge in COVID-19-related infections, hospitalizations and deaths amid the growing prevalence of the Omicron variant. On Wednesday, the CDC said the number of new coronavirus cases was up by a quarter as compared to last week and reached nearly 150,000 per day.
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