Fort Jackson efforts to combat the spread of the virus appear successful as the number of the installation’s recovered surpassed the number of positive cases.As the first stage in protecting the force, Department of the Army Security Guards would invariably come face-to-face with the virus and a few even tested positive.Brig. Gen. Milford H. Beagle, Jr., Fort Jackson commander, ordered increased safety measures to slow the flow of the virus onto post. The precautionary measures with the guards at the access control points were “for them to protect themselves because they are interacting with the population,” Beagle said during a media round table March 7.At the beginning of March, the gate guards stopped touching the identification cards from people coming on post.“They're viewing them while the person holds their card because in case people who are driving might have coughed in their hand which could be passed on to the security guard, which then just could be passed all the way down the line,” Beagle said.“They're also beginning to wear protective gloves so that when they're handling things that are coming from civilians, or the workforce that is coming on to the installation, that further protects them from potentially picking up the virus if it were to be present,” he added.Fred Vasquez, installation physical security chief, said “most guards have always used gloves but by mid- March, we made it mandatory for everyone to wear them.”Even after implementing these early measures, a couple of the gate guards contracted the virus.Sgt. Maurice Tucker, a lead DASG, said his COVID-19 story started on March 27 when he felt bad as he entered the guard shack. “I walked in after posting the other guards, and had a few symptoms of a little cough and a tickle in my throat,” he said.Then the cough occurred every hour and he got the chills. He talked with his doctor and three days later went to Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center to get tested and was told to stay home and self-quarantine for five to seven days. During that time he would hear about the test result.“On the sixth day, I got that call that I was positive,” Tucker said.Days four through eight were the hardest for him. He said he lost his sense of smell and taste, still had the coughs and chills and now had headaches and backaches.“It was terrible, my comfort was to sleep on my back and every time I tried sleeping on my side, I couldn’t sleep,” Tucker said.He said he did a combination of things to improve his health. He started drinking a lot of vitamin C and taking vitamin supplements and began to feel better.“The breathing techniques (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention) recommends really helped me,” Tucker said. “I was told it would strengthen my lungs and it did.”On April 16, he was tested again and was positive so he was sent home for 7 days again, but finally, on April 22 he tested negative and then again April 23 and was cleared to return to work.“I guess I am a COVID killer,” Tucker said of his experience.Another gate guard remembers his COVID-19 story began the night of March 29.“It was my first night of working the night shift and around 9:30 p.m. I saw a pollen haze blowing through the air,” said Sgt. William Carson. “It looked like fog in the sky but it was pollen.”He was off for the next two days during which time his temperature reached over 100. It broke the next day but then returned so he consulted his doctor and on March 31 was tested for COVID-19. Carson started self-quarantine and the following Monday was told he had COVID-19.It is hard for him to pinpoint when he really had his first symptom since he had been dealing with allergies and had recovered from a mild flu a month earlier.“I don’t normally have major issues but as I get older, I seem to have more allergies,” he said.“My fever went up and down, I was tired, had joint pain and a runny nose,” Carson said. He said he started to feel like himself after the 14 days of self-quarantine so went to get tested but the results were still positive. It wasn’t until two weeks and two tests later he tested negative and was able to return to work the first week of May.“My neighbors all around me are older so I stayed inside,” Carson said of his experience at home. “We had family make food runs, but by then I had stocked up on other supplies.”He couldn’t be around too many people so he would greet people from a distance.I would wave to people with my mask on from the window,” Carson recalled.Both stated it would be impossible to tell where they contracted COVID-19 and both also were ready to get back to duty. “I had no problem to return to duty, I had made every effort to come back to work but had to get over the hurdles to get cleared,” Carson said.