SIERRA VISTA— At least 14 soldiers from the same class and stationed at Fort Huachuca recently tested positive for COVID-19 after attending an event in Sierra Vista, Army officials confirmed Friday.
At the installation’s 26th COVID-19 Town Hall on Facebook Tuesday, Commanding Gen. Tony Hale said that officials at the installation were able to conclude through contact tracing that the 14 soldiers’ transmission came from “a single event and a local establishment off-post.”
While neither the Army nor the Cochise County Health and Social Services Department would reveal the name of the establishment, Meredith Mingledorff, a spokeswoman for Hale, said Friday that “the transmission took place at a private function held locally by people from out of town over the Columbus Day Weekend.”
Mingledorff confirmed the event took place in Sierra Vista, but said she could not reveal the name of the establishment.
At the Town Hall session, Hale said the outbreak had been isolated. Army spokeswoman Angie Camara said contact tracing done by preventive medicine nurses at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center on Fort Huachuca, “assisted greatly in leading us to the source.”
At the end of the Town Hall meeting, Garrison Commander Col. Jarrod Moreland said most of the COVID-19 cases seen at the installation have not come from a local source.
“Most of the cases we have seen on Fort Huachuca are not the result of local transmission, ie. you went to Walmart and picked it up from grabbing a shopping cart,” Moreland said. “It’s from individuals who have left the area and have returned, bringing it back with them, or, individuals who are coming to visit, whether a contractor, or someone else along those lines who has an official duty on the installation.”
Anyone interested in watching Fort Huachuca’s COVID-19 Town Hall sessions can go to Fort Huachuca’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/u.s.armyforthuachuca. The town halls are held every other Tuesday at 6 p.m. The next one is scheduled for Nov. 10.