Sailors Test Positive for COVID-19 on Carrier USS Ronald Reagan

September 4, 2020 3:20 PM
USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) sails in the Philippine Sea while two MH-60S Knight Hawk helicopters assigned to the ‘Golden Falcons’ of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12, embarked aboard Ronald Reagan, transit during a replenishment-at-sea on Aug. 13, 2020. US Navy Photo

A small group of sailors tested positive for COVID-19 last week while underway aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) following a port call in Guam, Navy officials confirmed to USNI News on Friday.

The unspecified number of the crew tested positive for the virus while the carrier was underway on Aug. 27, according to a 7th Fleet statement from Cmdr. Reann Mommsen.

“Sailors received immediate medical treatment and [were] transported off the ship – no one is hospitalized,” she said.
“The ship is taking aggressive action and applying all mitigations to protect the health of our sailors and stop the spread of the virus in accordance with CDC and Navy guidance as we continue to identify and eliminate any potential vectors of the virus.”

As of Friday, there were no positive cases known aboard the carrier, Mommsen said. The positive cases were first reported by Stars and Stripes.

The infections were discovered following a visit to Guam, one of the Navy’s five safe-haven ports around the world, where ships can pull in for limited liberty facilities.

“Sailors and Marines have access to specific designated areas on the pier and a secured beach on base,” the Navy said in June.
“With the exception of a few mandatory personnel to ensure the ship’s safe arrival, there will be no interaction with any personnel outside the designated liberty areas. For the docking process, all COVID mitigations will be in place to include social distancing, masks, gloves and minimal interactions.”

Since a COVID outbreak earlier this year aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) that resulted in more than the 1,200 positive cases and the death of one sailor, the Navy has refined its procedures for handling infections aboard ships.

Rather than pulling a deployed ship back to shore, like with the outbreak aboard USS Kidd (DDG-100), the Navy has adopted new procedures that isolate positive cases at sea and have proved more effective, a Navy official told USNI News on Friday.

Friday totals for reported COVID-19 cases in the military were:

Army: 14,009
Marine Corps: 4,872
Navy: 9,060
Air Force: 6,067
National Guard: 4,791

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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