REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Craig Z. Rodarte/Handout via Reuters
A US Navy sailor assigned to the USS Boxer has tested “presumptive positive” for the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Navy said in a statement Sunday.
The sailor, who serves aboard an amphibious assault ship, is quarantined at home in San Diego, as are the individuals known to have had close contact with him while aboard the ship.
This case, which is still pending official confirmation from the CDC, marks the first time a US Navy sailor aboard a warship has presumably been infected by the coronavirus.
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A US Navy sailor aboard a warship has tested “presumptive positive” for the coronavirus (COVID-19) in a first for the service, the Navy said in a statement Sunday.
The Navy sailor is assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer, which is currently in San Diego, California. The sailor is quarantined at home.
“Personnel that the individual immediately identified having close contact with have been notified and are in self-isolation at their residences,” the Navy said, adding that none of the potentially-affected individuals are aboard a ship at this time.
Military health professionals are investigating whether or not others were exposed.
The service added that ships are conducting “routine, daily cleanliness procedures geared toward health, wellness and the prevention of communicable disease spread.”
The USS Boxer, the Navy explained, is “taking appropriate preventative measures and conducting a thorough cleaning in accordance with specific guidance from the CDC and Navy-Marine Corps Public Health Center.”
The coronavirus, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, is now a pandemic that has spread to more than 160,000 worldwide and claimed over 6,000 lives. In the US, the number of infections has exceeded 3,200, and the number of deaths has risen to 62.
The first US service member to test positive for the coronavirus was a 23-year-old soldier stationed in South Korea. He tested positive in late February, and his wife tested positive a few days later.
As of Sunday, the impact of COVID-19 on the Department of Defense, a defense official told USNI News, is that the virus has spread 10 active-duty service members, one civilian employee, eight dependents, and two contractors.
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