The organization announced on Monday that the employee who tested positive for COVID-19 had recently travelled to northern Italy. The region has been one of the hardest-hit areas outside of Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak began in December.
The employee reported feeling “unwell” at the end of the week and sought a coronavirus test after suffering “feverlike symptoms.” While the employee did fall ill, the person was not hospitalized and has been placed in an at-home quarantine.
NATO claimed that other employees within the office were notified about their potential contact with the infected person “within minutes” of the positive COVID-19 test result. They also ordered the remainder of the staff to work from home for the foreseeable future.
In addition to sending staff home, the organization also banned group tours of the NATO headquarters in Brussels and ordered staff to cancel “certain staff travel.”
President Trump issued a travel advisory against parts of Italy and South Korea after the outbreaks in those regions escalated. On Monday, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that the entire country would be placed under lockdown and that all nonessential travel had been banned.