The European Defence Agency (EDA) confirms that one staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member tested positive and is currently at home in self isolation since symptoms appeared on Saturday evening (29 February 2020). The individual has reported very light symptoms and not returned to the Agency since.
The staff member promptly informed the Agency and since then EDA has taken several steps:
- EDA is in close contact with the Belgian health authorities as the host nation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the EU Inter-Institutional Medical Board and the World Health Organisation (WHO);
- EDA has personally informed the few staff members who were in close contact with the colleague concerned four days prior to the appearance of symptoms;
- EDA has asked these staff members to self-isolate themselves for 14 days as a precaution;
- EDA has taken as a precautionary measure - based on guidance received by the EU inter-institutional medical board - the decision to cancel all meetings to be held at its premises and organised by EDA outside its premises until 13 March 2020 inclusive. Additionally, no EDA staff members will attend any external meetings until after 13 March 2020;
- EDA has already carried out a disinfection of the office and relevant meeting facilities of the staff member concerned.
The staff member had recently travelled to Italy (Milan and Cortina) and returned to Brussels on 23 February. The Agency also wishes to address reports in the media, that the impacted staff member attended a meeting with 30 officials from other EU institutions, as incorrect.
EDA will continue to closely monitor the situation and remain in close contact with the responsible health authorities in order to strictly follow their guidance.