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12 Chafee sailors have tested positive for COVID-19; entire crew to be tested

Roughly a dozen sailors assigned to the U.S. warship Chafee have tested positive for COVID-19, U.S. 3rd Fleet said in a statement Friday.

They have been moved off the guided-missile destroyer, which arrived in San Diego from Hawaii for training Saturday, and sailors who were in close contact with the positive cases are in quarantine and being monitored for symptoms, according to the command.

Friday’s announcement follows a Navy Times report Thursday that featured several Chafee sailors expressing concern for how the higher-ups were handling the coronavirus outbreak and the number of sailors being taken off the ship for infection or close contact with the infected.

Third Fleet also announced Friday that “to reassure Sailors and their families, all Chafee sailors will be tested today.”

The ship had been scheduled to receive all-hands testing on Jan. 23, but that testing was canceled for reasons the Navy has not explained.

“The ship remains able to meet its mission,” 3rd Fleet said Friday. “No Chafee sailors have been hospitalized and all positives are in isolation in accordance with U.S. Pacific Fleet guidelines.”

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