Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno School Age Center at Camp Humphreys, South Korea reopened on Monday, November 15, 2021, with more than a dozen people testing positive for COVID-19 in the previous week. (The American army)
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Thirteen people, including nearly a dozen children, linked to a children’s center on the base recently tested positive for coronavirus respiratory disease, an official at the center said on Tuesday.
At least 11 children and two of Capt. Jennifer M. Moreno School Age Center in Humphreys tested positive over the past week, center coordinator Tiffany Harris told Stars and Stripes by phone. About 178 children from grades 1 to 5 are enrolled in the center, which employs 24 people.
The center, which offers after-school programs for children, was closed on Friday for cleaning and disinfection; it reopened on Monday.
Many children who tested positive have been sent home after showing symptoms of COVID-19, Harris said. Anyone who enters the center has their temperature checked and is subjected to a series of questions, such as if they have a headache or a runny nose.
Harris said not all of the positive cases came from the center.
“It wasn’t just the middle school age,” she said. “Many of them were already sick when they came to see us, and we sent them home. “
Harris said contact tracing was still ongoing on Monday and one of the elementary schools conducted COVID-19 mass testing on Friday. As of Tuesday morning, no faculty member at the center had tested positive.
Base contact tracing and remediation is scrupulous at Humphreys educational facilities, Harris said. At the school-age center, more than 20 cameras are recording in and around the building, while school lockers, bathrooms and play areas are cleaned every two hours, she said.
Humphreys Commander Army Col. Seth Graves confirmed on Tuesday that a number of cases among children have prompted the school-age center to close. He said health officials believe “we’ve contained the spread enough” for the center to reopen on Monday.
“The safety and well-being of our community members and staff is our # 1 priority,” Graves told Stars and Stripes over the phone. “We will continue to work as hard as possible to ensure a safe environment for all. “
Graves said he encouraged parents not to send children who are feeling sick to their school or the center.