A San Diego docked Navy warship is facing an outbreak of COVID-19, leaving its crew panicked by what some insiders call insufficient safety measures onboard, a study said.
Officials told The Navy Times that some representatives onboard the USS Chafee, which arrived from Hawaii last weekend in California, had tested positive for the virus.
An internal ship document accessed by the outlet reveals that 41 of the 350 crew members of the ship are in quarantine with either a positive diagnosis or a potential exposure.
Nonetheless, in an emailed statement, “The ship remains able to fulfil its mission,” Third Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Sean Robertson told the Navy Times.
“No Chafee sailors have been hospitalised, and all those who are positive are isolated.”
The outlet was informed by a small officer aboard the ship that the outbreak appeared to start with the cooks.
“Before pulling into San Diego we had seven people in quarantine and three tested positives, all the cooks that come into contact with the whole crew,” the petty officer said. “Everybody was panicking.
“We come in close contact with them every day and the test would have told us who is sick and who wasn’t,” the petty officer said.
The Navy has no intention of evaluating the whole crew, Robertson said.
Another small officer who spoke to the Navy Times said “moot point” is social distance aboard the packed ship, while another officer said the ship lacked appropriate face masks.
An officer made a statement saying, “A lot of people end up using the N95 more than once or risk getting chewed out or worse because the ship just can’t get them fast enough.”
But Robertson, refuted the claim of insufficient protective equipment.
“USS Chafee has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and continues to maintain protective measures for its crew,” he said in an email to the outlet.