A “small number” of sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which recently docked on Guam for “safe haven” liberty, have tested positive for the coronavirus.
First reported by Stars and Stripes, 7th Fleet spokeswoman Cmdr. Reann Mommsen confirmed on Friday that the sailors tested positive on Aug. 27. The sailors then received immediate medical treatment and were taken off the ship. None needed to be hospitalized.
Mommsen, however, did not specify exactly how many USS Reagan sailors tested positive for COVID-19.
The USS Ronald Reagan pulled into U.S. Naval Base Guam for a safe haven liberty port visit on Aug. 22.
During the Guam port visit, sailors had the opportunity to unwind on the pier and a section of the beach was designated as a safe zone.
With the exception of a few mandatory personnel to ensure the ship’s safe arrival, the Navy said there were no interactions with any personnel outside the designated liberty areas. Moreover, for the docking process, the Navy said all COVID mitigations were in place.
Social media on Guam, however, had viral posts from residents who took photos and videos of the USS Reagan personnel without masks and not practicing social distance while they were ashore.
Later, the Navy issued a statement saying that since the majority of the USS Ronald Reagan team remained sequestered ashore, aboard ship, and at sea for more than 100 days, the wearing of masks and social distancing was not required of the crew while off-ship in open air.
With this latest outbreak, however, the Navy has launched an investigation to find out how COVID-19 made its way onto the carrier which has been at sea since June.
Last April, the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt had to dock on Guam to take care of hundreds of sailors who tested positive for COVID-19.