WASHINGTON — Another Navy ship at sea has reported a coronavirus outbreak and is returning to port, the Navy said Friday.
A Navy statement said at least 17 members of the crew of a destroyer, the USS Kidd, have tested positive and it expects the number to grow. It said it is evaluating the extent of the outbreak aboard the ship.
The Kidd is in the Caribbean, where it has been operating as part of a counter-drug mission.
One sailor who displayed symptoms was flown off the Kidd on Thursday to a medical facility at San Antonio, where he tested positive for the virus.
“As a result, the Navy has — using lessons learned from other cases — flowed a medical evaluation team onto the Kidd” to conduct more testing, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said. “They are preparing to return to port, where they will undertake efforts to clean the ship” and remove a portion of the crew.
The Navy continues to struggle with a coronavirus outbreak aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that is docked in Guam and has more than 800 confirmed virus cases.
Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus on April 22 said the Navy needs to take extreme steps to fight COVID-19. He called for all sailors to be removed from the 297 ships in the fleet, for all sailors to be quarantined and tested, and for those ships to be sanitized.
"If we're going to keep a Navy that is completely prepared, we're going to have to do a much better job, number one, of getting sailors off their ship, sanitizing the ship, testing them, testing every one of them, quarantining the and then putting them back on the ship," he said.