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Fort Hood shifts to ‘essential staffing’

The change of command ceremony on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 at the III Corps and Fort hood building on base in Fort Hood Texas. (RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN/TNS)

Fort Hood on Tuesday instructed its “non-mission essential” personnel to stay at home to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

“This order does not mean everyone can return to home. … Mission and critical services on this installation will continue to operate,” Maj. Gen. Scott Efflandt said in a statement.

Efflandt instructed soldiers to confirm with their supervisors whether their job is “mission essential.”

U.S. military officials said Monday a Fort Hood soldier and a retiree both have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The soldier in his 30s is assigned to the 3rd Calvary Regiment. He is in self-isolation at his home, which is not on the Fort Hood post, military officials said.

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“Out of an abundance of caution, other soldiers who he may have been in contact with are self-quarantined in their residences,” Fort Hood officials said in a statement.

The military retiree is in his 40s and is self-isolating at his Killeen home, officials said. He tested positive for the virus at Carl R. Darnall Medical Center at Fort Hood. He called the U.S. Army public health hotline before arriving at the medical center, and medical protocols were in place to receive him and conduct the test, officials said.

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© 2020 Austin American-Statesman