A U.S. military serviceman in Australia’s Northern Territory has tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving to join the Marine Rotational Force in Darwin.
The 21-year-old was diagnosed with the virus on Saturday after arriving on an international flight on Thursday with the first deployment of Marines to the Top End for 2021.
The Marine has been placed in quarantine at Royal Darwin Hospital and remains asymptomatic, an NT Health spokeswoman told AAP on Sunday.
“Due to 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 department said in a statement.
About 2,200 marines will arrive in Darwin by June in batches of 200-500 servicemen and women.
It’s the 10th Marine Rotational Force to train with the Australian Defence Force.
Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has previously said all US personnel would undergo COVID-19 testing within 72 hours of departure for Australia and must present a negative result before boarding their flight.
They are also required to complete mandatory 14-day quarantine with virus testing on arrival in Australia and again before exiting the quarantine facility.
The Marine force has rented a secure facility outside Darwin—understood to be Bladin Point, about 20km south of Darwin—for the majority of personnel to complete their quarantining.
However, the first two groups will stay in isolated accommodation on an ADF base, understood to be RAAF Base Darwin.
Meanwhile, a young woman has copped a $5,000 fine after she ducked out for some takeaway while she was meant to be isolating in Darwin.
The 20-year-old arrived in the NT on Thursday and was required to self-isolate because she had been in Melbourne.
Officers did a check-up on Saturday but found she was not home.
When authorities called her, she said she was at home but later arrived in a friend’s car, NT Police said.
She admitted she had travelled to get takeaway.
Police issued an infringement notice for breaching a Chief Health Officer Direction.
The NT has recorded 104 COVID-19 cases. All have been quarantine facilities.
By Aaron Bunch