Antarctica no longer COVID-19 free, virus officially on every continent

Antarctica reported 36 COVID-19 cases after nearly a year of remaining untouched by the novel virus, The New York Times reports. The positive cases officially mark COVID-19's presence in every continent. 

At General Bernardo O'Higgins Riquelme, a military base in the Antarctic Peninsula, 26 members of the Chilean military and 10 civilian maintenance workers tested positive as of Dec. 21. Authorities confirmed the news in a statement shared with 24 Horas, a local Spanish news station, according to the NYT. Those who tested positive have since been isolated and contact tracing is being conducted. 

An additional three crew members of a Chilean Navy vessel returning from Antarctica also tested positive, according to La Prensa Austral, a local Spanish publication cited by the NYT. 

"Personnel at U.S. Antarctic Program stations have had no interactions with the Chilean stations in question or the personnel who reside there," a U.S. spokesperson told the NYT. 

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state: Dec. 23
Average life expectancy increases for fifth year in a row, CDC finds
UK variant may already be in US, Fauci says; air travel spikes despite health warnings — 6 COVID-19 updates


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