Five more Navy sailors on ships in San Diego test positive for COVID-19, raising total to 10

The USS Boxer sits alongside Hotel Pier during a port visit to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, in November 2019.


By ANDREW DYER | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: March 22, 2020

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SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — Five more Pacific Fleet sailors stationed on San Diego-based ships tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy announced Sunday, doubling the number of such cases on the waterfront.

The five sailors, who tested positive on Saturday, are in isolation off-ship and are restricted in movement, according to a Pacific Fleet statement. The Navy is no longer naming the ships with positive tests, the fleet announced Friday.

Previously, the Navy said two sailors on the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer and one on the littoral combat ship USS Coronado tested positive.

On Friday, the fleet announced two more positive cases on ships in San Diego but did not name the vessels. In a statement, the Hawaii-based Pacific Fleet did not explain why the Navy is no longer naming ships with COVID-19 cases, saying only that it is now its policy to name only the geographic region in which a sailor tests positive.

While the Navy is no longer naming the ships, a senior Navy official told the Union-Tribune Sunday that none of the cases is aboard the hospital ship USNS Mercy, which is preparing to deploy from San Diego to provide medical support in response to the spreading coronavirus.

Sunday’s announcement brings the number of shipboard cases in San Diego to 10, and the total number of local military cases to 18.

San Diego’s military cases include:

• Seven sailors on unnamed ships

• Three sailors at a Naval Base San Diego schoolhouse

• Three Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

• Two sailors on the USS Boxer

• One sailor on the USS Coronado

• One sailor at Naval Air Station North Island

• One Marine at Camp Pendleton

The Navy and the Marine Corps have instituted strict measures on bases and ships to curb the spread of the virus, including closing nonessential and recreational activities on bases and beefing up daily cleaning routines on vessels.

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