A 21-year-old male US Marine who arrived in the first incoming tranche of the 2021 Marine Rotational Force – Darwin last week has returned a positive result for COVID-19 at initial screening on arrival in Darwin.
A Defence spokesperson said the Marine was taken to the Royal Darwin Hospital on Saturday for assessment and confirmatory testing.
“Under the strict quarantine measures in place for all arriving Marines, this case of COVID-19 was promptly detected and the Marine had no direct contact with the general community,” the Defence statement said.
“All close contacts are being monitored during the remainder of their mandatory 14 day quarantine.”
An NT government spokesperson said the Marine who tested positive was asymptomatic, but was moved from quarantine to the care of Royal Darwin Hospital, in line with established processes.
All US Marines are subject to strict screening and quarantine requirements before departure and on arrival in Australia, which include:
- present a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours before departure for Australia;
- mandatory 14-day quarantine in secure facilities at RAAF Base Darwin and Bladin Village Northern Territory;
- COVID-19 testing on arrival and before exiting their mandatory 14-day quarantine period; and,
- daily health checks that included screening for COVID-19 symptoms.
Extensive planning for the 2021 MRF-D occurred, in consultation with the Northern Territory Government, to ensure the health and safety of all Australians.
Defence and NT Health have agreed to strict measures for managing MRF-D’s arrival, quarantine and any positive cases.
A Defence spokesperson said MRF-D 2021 would continue to adhere to all current Northern Territory restrictions for mitigating COVID-19 risks while taking part in the rotation, which will include a comprehensive range of training activities, including humanitarian assistance, security operations and high-end live-fire exercises.
The total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the Northern Territory is 104 – all related to international or interstate travel, with no community transmission.