The first sailor assigned to a warship has tested “presumptive positive” for the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Navy announced on Sunday.
A sailor assigned to amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD-4), currently pier-side at Naval Station San Diego, Calif., was tested on Friday. Results came back on Saturday that indicated the sailor likely had the virus.
“The individual is currently quarantined at home in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines,” reads a statement from the Navy.
“The test result is considered presumptive positive, pending confirmation by the CDC.”
Other Boxer crew that have come in contact with the presumed-to-be infected sailor have been notified are now in a 14-day quarantine in their quarters and in contact with Navy medical professionals, a Navy spokesperson told USNI News on Sunday evening.
An investigation is ongoing to find the extent of the contact between the sailor and other personnel on the ship and at Naval Station San Diego, Calif.
“Depending on the results of that investigation, additional mitigations may be taken,” reads a statement from the service.
The ship and its crew will now follow guidance from the Navy and public health professionals on disinfecting and cleaning the ship, the spokesman said.
News of the infection comes just hours after the Pentagon and the Navy issued sweeping new “stop movement” guidance that places strict limits on the movements on service members, military civilians and their dependents.
The restrictions come as the COVID-19 virus has infected 10 active-duty service members, a civilian, eight dependents and two contractors, a defense official told USNI News on Saturday.
As of Sunday, about 167,000 people have been reported infected with the virus worldwide, resulting in 6,000 deaths. In the U.S., 3,250 have been reported infected, resulting in 40 deaths.
The following March 15, 2020 statement from Naval Surface Forces Public Affairs.
SAN DIEGO (NNS) — On March 13, a Sailor assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4) tested “presumptive positive” for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), marking the first case for a Sailor aboard a Navy ship. The individual is currently quarantined at home in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines. The test result is considered presumptive positive, pending confirmation by the CDC.
Personnel that the individual immediately identified having close contact with have been notified and are in self-isolation at their residences. None of them is aboard the ship currently. U.S. Navy ships conduct routine, daily cleanliness procedures geared toward health, wellness and the prevention of communicable disease spread. USS Boxer 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.
Military health professionals are conducting a thorough contact investigation to determine whether any additional personnel were in close contact and possibly exposed. Depending on the results of that investigation, additional mitigations may be taken.
Commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet is committed to taking every measure possible to protect the health of our force. We remain in close coordination with state and federal authorities, and public health authorities to ensure the well-being of our personnel and local population.