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Fort Bragg special warfare students, instructors who tested positive for COVID-19 complete isolation

A sign at one of the entrances to Fort Bragg. (Fish Cop./WikiCommons)

Special warfare students and instructors who tested positive for the coronavirus at the end of June have completed their isolation, officials said Monday.

The John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg reported that 81 students and eight instructors tested positive for COVID-19. The students and instructors were tested after a soldier exhibited symptoms.

“None of our soldiers were hospitalized, and the majority of them were asymptomatic,” said Janice Burton, a spokeswoman for the special warfare center who spoke to the school’s surgeon Monday.

Officials continue to monitor the soldiers, who might produce a “false positive” for the virus.

Officials previously said the students and instructors who were participating in the school’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape course were training in isolated areas at Camp Mackall.

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Since April, officials have said special warfare training at the school has continued because it is “mission critical.”

“Our nation depends on us,” said. Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson, commander of the center and school. “Our enemies are out there. They could take advantage of this. We don’t want to start from a cold start getting our production line back up.”

Officials have said that guidelines have been in place since the onset of the pandemic, with students testing for the virus before training, daily welfare checks and testing after the training.

After the students and instructors tested positive for the virus in June, Robeson reiterated that the health and wellness of students and staff is a top priority for leaders.

“We will do everything we can to protect our students and their families,” he said.

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© 2020 The Fayetteville Observer