Another Okinawa base worker tests positive for omicron as Marines’ COVID-19 cluster grows -- Dec 21
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – A third employee at Camp Hansen, a Marine Corps base on Okinawa, has tested positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus as new cases on the installation approached 200 since Friday.

The worker, a resident of Uruma city in her 40s, was a close contact of the first positive case, though the genetic code of the virus infecting her differed from the first patient, Okinawa Gov. Denny Tamaki said at a press conference in Naha on Monday night.

The number of new COVID-19 cases at Camp Hansen has risen to “about 200,” up 20 from the previous day, Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday morning. Kihara said the Japanese government understands the concerns of Okinawans.

“U.S. Forces Japan is taking stricter measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Considering the possibility of omicron variant cases, they are testing actively, tracing the close contacts, and isolating those who might be infected.”

A cluster of new cases emerged among newly arrived Marines in a rotational unit, according to Marine Corps Installations Pacific on Friday. Neither the Marines nor the Japanese government has commented publicly on whether the cluster included omicron cases. The installations command on Friday said the infected Marines had no contact with the population outside the base.