U.S. Navy Reports Multiple New COVID-19 Cases Across U.S.

Two Navy personnel at Naval Support Activity Bethesda tested positive on March 20-21 (file image courtesy USN)

Published Mar 23, 2020 9:17 PM by The Maritime Executive

As COVID-19 spreads across the United States, the U.S. Navy has announced new cases at U.S. Central Command Headquarters, Naval Operational Support Center New York City, Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, the U.S. Naval Academy, Naval Support Activity Bethesda and aboard ships in San Diego. The accelerated pace of new case reports mirrors the sharp rise in the civilian population. 

The new confirmed positives announced March 22-23 include: 

- a sailor assigned to Navy Personnel Command (NPC) who tested positive on March 22. This is the second confirmed case at the command; the first individual was identified on March 20, and worked in a different building. All personnel who worked near the confirmed cases at NPC will be put on a 14-day restriction of movement order. 

- a sailor assigned to U.S. Central Command headquarters who tested positive on March 20, 2020, and is under treatment at his home in Tampa, Florida. The individual returned from abroad on March 15 and entered a precautionary quarantine at home; he developed symptoms and was tested on March 18. 

- a U.S. Navy Reserve Sailor assigned to Navy Operational Support Center New York City who tested positive on March 22. The individual is currently quarantined at home.

- four employees who tested positive at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) and are now in self-quarantine. Military health professionals are conducting a \contact investigation to determine whether any other personnel may have been in contact with these individuals and potentially exposed. 

- three first-class petty officers assigned to Naval Special Warfare at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, Washington, who tested positive on March 21. One earlier case was identified on March 19. The individuals are now in isolation, and sailors who came into contact with them are in quarantine. 

- two Navy personnel at Naval Support Activity Bethesda who tested positive on March 20 and March 21. The individuals are currently quarantined and receiving medical care in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guidelines. 

- five more sailors assigned to San Diego-based ships, who tested positive on March 21. Along with two other individuals who tested positive the day before, they have been isolated off ship and restricted in movement. 

In order to minimize the risk of spread, the Navy is changing the way that it delivers services and conducts business, like most organizations. This includes using phone and teleconferencing instead of meetings where possible, and prioritizing social distancing and high levels of cleanliness for business that must occur in person.