A Covid-19 outbreak has forced the USS Milwaukee littoral combat ship to halt its deployment and employ an “aggressive mitigation strategy” to contain the virus.
The US Navy refused to disclose how many personnel tested positive for Covid-19 but emphasized that the crew was fully vaccinated. Those sailors infected with the virus have been segregated from the rest of the crew, but remain on the ship. Some of the infected are reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.
The vessel is currently on pause at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, where it stopped on the way to deployment in the US Southern Command. USS Milwaukee left the US on December 14.
In a statement on Christmas Eve, the Navy said that the exact Covid-19 variant present on the ship had “yet to be determined,” and noted that all CDC guidelines were being followed, “including contact tracing and testing protocols.”
“The ship is following an aggressive mitigation strategy in accordance with the Navy and CDC guidelines,” the statement declared, boasting that being vaccinated against the virus “continues to demonstrate effectiveness against serious illness.”
It’s not the first US warship that had to implement quarantine measures to combat an outbreak of Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic. In the most scandalous incident, thousands of sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt were forced to quarantine last year, and at least one died, while the carrier’s captain was fired for sending an email begging for his ship to be evacuated.
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