Coronavirus spreads aboard second US Navy ship
Forty-seven sailors onboard the US Navy’s Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100) have been infected with COVID-19, the navy confirmed on April 27.
The number of coronavirus cases surged from 18 on Friday to 47 on Monday.
Two sailors assigned to the Kidd who tested positive for the coronavirus have been medically evacuated to the United States from operations at sea.
In addition, 15 sailors have been transferred to USS Makin Island (LHD 8) for monitoring due to persistent symptoms.
The navy’s Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island, with a fleet surgical team, ICU capacity and ventilators, and additional testing capability, is assisting Kidds at sea.
USS Kidd was underway in the US Fourth Fleet area of operations, in support of US Southern Command to combat counter illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific. With around 350 crew members on board, the destroyer is currently off the Pacific coast of South America.
Last week, the navy deployed a specialized medical team to the ship to conduct contact tracing and additional onsite testing. Testing continues, and additional cases are expected. All measures are being taken to evaluate the extent of the COVID-19 transmission on the ship, according to the navy.
“We are taking every precaution to ensure we identify, isolate, and prevent any further spread onboard the ship,” Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, commander U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet said on Friday.
As informed, all sailors aboard the destroyer are wearing PPE and N95 masks.
It is planned that Kidd would return to port where the crew will continue to clean and disinfect the ship.
USS Kidd is the second US Navy’s ship to report the COVID-19 outbreak. The navy’s first coronavirus-hit ship, the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, has so far reported 955 positive cases, while one sailor died.
The article has been amended since its initial publishing with an updated number of coronavirus cases on board USS Kidd.