Some arriving students at Naval Academy prep school test positive for coronavirus

The Naval Academy Preparatory School is at Naval Station Newport.


By SEAN FLYNN | Newport Daily News | Published: July 28, 2020

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NEWPORT, R.I. (Tribune News Service) — Some of the new students at the Naval Academy Preparatory School tested positive for COVID-19 after they arrived for the new 10-month course, according to a school official.

"It was fewer than 20," Retired U.S. Navy Capt. Mark Donahue, the school's command services director at Naval Station Newport, told The Daily News on Tuesday afternoon. "It is the Navy's policy not to release exact numbers."

Another Navy spokesperson confirmed an initial report that said there were 16 students who tested positive. That is less than 6% of the arriving class of 273 students.

"Most of those students have completed their 14-day quarantine and are back with the rest of the group," Donahue said.

All of the students were tested for COVID-19 when they arrived, he said. All students also have restricted movement after arrival, he added. He said the students have limited interaction with the outside world during the course of study.

The students stay in the Ripley Hall dormitory during the program that prepares midshipmen candidates to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.

The first official NAPS classes were established at Naval Station Newport in 1920, but were soon moved to Norfolk, Va., until 1942.

That year, the new Naval Academy Preparatory School opened at Naval Station Newport, where it has remained since then.

The NAPS mission is "to enhance midshipman candidates' moral, mental, and physical foundations to prepare them for success at the U.S. Naval Academy," according to the school's website at usna.edu/NAPS.

The course extends from August through May and emphasizes preparation in English composition, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and information technology, according to the website.

"Demanding military, physical, and character development programs complement the academic preparation to fully prepare students for the challenges of life at a service academy," the website says.

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