CAMP WALKER, Republic of Korea -- The Area IV medical clinics at Camp Walker and Camp Carroll have a new capability to directly support Department of Defense ID card holders concerned about COVID-19 -- the ability to test for the virus on post.
"We were the first medical facilities on the peninsula to test patients for the virus," said Army Maj. Molly Bried, Area IV public health nurse, assigned to the 150th Medical Detachment, 65th Medical Brigade.
Bried, who operates out of the Wood Medical Clinic at Camp Walker acknowledged that having the capability to test on site provides quicker responses than going off post.
"Due to the local hospitals and emergency rooms being inundated with so many patients, response times for testing were taking anywhere from 24 to 48 hours," added Bried. "We can get the results in approximately 12 hours."
The quick turnaround is vitally important as leaders with the 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and U.S. Army Garrison Daegu work to support the medical needs of more than 10,000 Service Members, Department of the Army Civilians, U.S. contractors and their families.
The clinics at Walker and Carroll have set up tents outside of their facilities where patients can come in if they feel they have symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
"If our staff determines a patient meets the criteria, the test occurs right there on site," said Bried. Testing includes swabs from a patient's nose and a sputum culture -- the gooey substance that often comes up from your chest when you have an infection in your lungs or airway.
Bried added that the medical personnel have worked non-stop to ensure the safety of our community since the initial notification of COVID-19 in Daegu.
"Our medical professionals are … hands down the best team to work with," said Bried. "Everyone is focused, working together as one team and committed to providing the best patient care possible."
Area IV has rallied around the hashtag "#KILLtheVirus." The motto has united the community to stay informed and practice good hygiene and stay current on the latest updates through U.S. Forces Korea and the U.S. CDC.