Two U.S. Navy ships in the Middle Eastern waters of U.S. 5th Fleet are dealing with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 outbreaks, command officials said Friday in a statement.
At least a dozen service members aboard the amphibious transport dock San Diego have tested positive in recent days, while the guided-missile cruiser Philippine Sea is investigating several suspected cases, according to 5th Fleet.
The command “became aware of the situation” on Sunday, with the first positive cases aboard San Diego popping up the following day, according to 5th Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich.
San Diego was in port in Bahrain at the time of the outbreak and the crew remains on the ship, she said.
Philippine Sea is en route to Bahrain for additional testing and medical resources, she said. None of the crew members have required hospitalization and they all remain onboard their ships, she said.
“U.S. 5th Fleet took immediate actions to identify, isolate, text and treat affected sailors and Marines aboard the two ships,” the command said in a statement.
San Diego “has a robust medical capability, including embarked medical staff, operating rooms, a 24-bed hospital ward and additional overflow capacity,” 5th Fleet said.
Once in port, further testing will be conducted for the crew of Philippine Sea, the command said.
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 email@example.com.