The Navy announced Tuesday that it has transitioned into the next phase of its aggressive response to the Covid-19 outbreak on board the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100).
On May 18, the Navy transferred nearly 90 confirmed healthy sailors from quarantine onto the Kidd to replace the caretaker crew that has been aboard since the ship arrived in San Diego April 28.
Prior to the transfer, the Navy retested 100% of the crew. The test results then helped decide who to transfer and who should remain in quarantine or isolation. Military health professionals will continue to monitor all crewmembers for symptoms.
“Our number one priority is to protect the health of our force and our families. By doing that, we also help to protect the health of our communities where we serve,” said Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander, Naval Surface Forces. “Before we clear any sailor to return to the ship, they must receive two separate negative test results. We’re focused on the health and safety of sailors, and ensuring the full recovery of Kidd’s crew.
The Kidd arrived at Naval Base San Diego to receive medical care for its sailors and clean and disinfect the ship following a coronavirus outbreak while underway. A number of sailors remained onboard the ship to operate essential services, while other crewmembers and anyone who tested positive were removed from the ship to isolation or quarantine. The next phase of the recovery is another step toward ensuring the ship is safe to get underway to continue deployment, the Navy said.
“I want to thank the amazing team that has supported us, from Vice Admiral Brown to our most junior crewmember,” said Cmdr. Nathan S. Wemett, commanding officer of USS Kidd. "Everyone’s resiliency and hard work is paying off, but the recovery process is not over. We must remain focused and vigilant throughout the entire process to maintain our health and readiness in order to get back to sea.”
The Navy estimates that the cleaning of the ship and care for the crew is expected to continue for approximately two more weeks. The Navy will test all Kidd crewmembers again before the ship resumes its deployment.