US soldiers in NT declared close contacts

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A planeload of US military personnel in the Northern Territory have been declared close contacts after a fellow passenger tested positive for COVID-19.

The infected woman, who is a serving member of the US Army, arrived in Darwin on Thursday July 8 before being diagnosed with the virus late on Monday.

The 22-year-old is one of about 9000 foreign service personnel in Australia for the Talisman Sabre 2021 military war games, which started on Wednesday.

She was quarantined at the US Marine-leased Bladin Village workers camp, 36km south of Darwin, with about 1000 other US servicemen and women when she tested positive.

The woman has since been moved into the red zone at the Centre for National Resilience in Howard Springs, with her fellow passengers now considered close contacts, NT Health says.

"All personnel that travelled on the aircraft with the US Army member that tested positive are being treated as close contacts," a spokeswoman said.

"They are undertaking quarantine procedures at Bladin Village including daily checks."

A Defence spokesman said the woman did not come into contact with the community while infectious.

More than 17,000 military personnel from Australia, the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea will take part in TS21.

The majority of the mock war games are scheduled to take place in Queensland and off the east coast of Australia.

UK, Canadian, Japanese, and Korean service personnel have quarantined in Sydney. Other foreign troops have been billeted to Brisbane hotels, a spokesman said.

All foreign military personnel arriving in Australia for TS21 undertake two weeks' mandatory quarantine.

NT Health and Defence declined to answer how many service personnel were on the affected flight.

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