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After a six-week detour due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the ranks, the guided-missile destroyer Kidd left San Diego and resumed its scheduled deployment Monday, according to a Navy statement.
But exactly how many sailors were infected, and how many may have been left on land, remains unclear.
The Navy and the rest of the U.S. Defense Department have refused to identify the number of outbreaks or the local units where they are happening, and Navy officials declined to specify Kidd case numbers.
Before the Navy stopped updating cases aboard the Kidd and the stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt on April 30, there were 78 “active cases” in the Kidd crew, nearly a quarter of an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer’s ranks.
The warship will now resume its deployment as part of counter narcotics operations in the Caribbean Sea and eastern Pacific.
At least one other ship has suffered an outbreak of the virus.
In response to a Navy Times query, sea service officials confirmed last week that sailors tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the dock landing ship Carter Hall on May 23, but they refused to say how many shipmates were affected.
Ten weeks after a coronavirus outbreak on the Theodore Roosevelt forced the carrier into Guam, the ship resumed its own deployment last week.
Navy officials this week confirmed for the first time that 1,273 sailors out of the approximately 5,000 onboard— more than 25 percent — had tested positive for the virus.
Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.