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Chafee returns to sea following COVID outbreak

The U.S. guided-missile destroyer Chafee has returned to sea following a COVID-19 outbreak that saw most of the vessel’s crew taken off the ship and moved into quarantine for two weeks.

While a skeleton crew had been left onboard, roughly 200 shipmates were moved back on to the ship last Friday, and the Chafee has since gotten back underway off San Diego, U.S. 3rd Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson said in an email.

The crew was tested following the quarantine and one sailor tested positive, according to a Navy official who asked to remain anonymous because the official was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Robertson said Wednesday that there had been “no new cases since they got underway.”

A dozen Chafee sailors tested positive for COVID-19 last month as the ship steamed from Hawaii to San Diego for training.

After a Navy Times report on Jan. 28 featured Chafee members expressing fear over the outbreak and frustration with how it was being handled, the entire crew was tested and most moved into isolation the following day.

Officials declined to say how many positives came back after the whole ship was tested but noted that it was less than the 12 who had previously tested positive.

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