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Joint Base Langley-Eustis commander declares public health emergency

As of Friday night, eight people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the military installation.

HAMPTON, Va. — The installation commander has declared a public health emergency for all of Joint Base Langley-Eustis.

The declaration comes after the spouse of a Fort Eustis soldier died due to complications of the COVID-19 virus. The soldier has also tested positive for the coronavirus.

"This declaration allows greater access to health care resources, and broader authority to limit access onto the installation, and restrict the movement of residents," said installation commander Col. Clint Ross in a public message to JBLE personnel and families. "In the coming days we will further limit access to mission essential personnel only."

The emergency order will remain in place for 30 days, and the new restrictions are meant to minimize the spread of the deadly virus. The order can be extended or shortened, based on developments.

Ross said additional details on the restrictions will be made early next week.

"This declaration provides JBLE additional avenues to fight COVID-19, and achieve the greatest public health benefit while maintaining operational effectiveness," he wrote.

Last week the military base announced a soldier at Fort Eustis had tested positive for COVID-19 and was put into self-quarantine. On Thursday Col. Ross announced the soldier's spouse had died at a hospital in Newport News. The soldier remains in self-quarantine.

Since that first reported case, JBLE reports that eight people have so far tested positive at the military installation.

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