US troops who recently traveled to China quarantined in South Korea

U.S. military officials in South Korea announced on Sunday that a 14-day self-quarantine has been imposed on U.S. troops who have recently traveled to China, although it was emphasized there have been no known cases of service members visiting the areas of China hit hardest by the deadly coronavirus.

The 14-day quarantine applies to any service members returning from mainland China to South Korea on or after Jan. 19, U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said in a statement.


In addition to the mandatory quarantine for service members, the command also encouraged family members, Pentagon civilians, contractors, South Korean employees and United Nations military personnel to take similar steps.

The quarantine, which lasts through the incubation period for the virus, begins from the date service members return to South Korea, regardless of whether they display any symptoms, USFK said.

“USFK continues to stress the overall risk to USFK personnel remains low, but that the quarantine measures implemented are out of an abundance of caution to mitigate risk to the USFK population,” the command said in a statement.

Fifteen cases of the virus have been confirmed in South Korea as of Sunday, Reuters reported, with another 87 people undergoing testing. State TV said Sunday that the death toll from the virus in China had reached 301 as of Saturday night.

--This report was updated on Feb. 3 at 5:03 a.m.