Another sailor aboard the San Diego-based USS Boxer has tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy announced Wednesday, and Marine Corps and Navy officials instituted emergency protocols to limit the spread of the virus.
The USS Boxer reported its first sailor with the novel coronavirus on Friday. The second sailor works in a different department from the first and Navy officials said there was no indication the two were in close contact on the ship.
The case marks the fifth positive case among naval personnel in the San Diego region.
Both sailors are currently in home isolation.
The following adjustments were made in alignment with federal guidance and state direction, and are in effect until further notice:
— All catering functions, special events, golf tournaments, ticket offices, and recreational trips are cancelled or closed until further notice.
— Fitness centers and gymnasiums (including swimming pools), bowling centers, recreation centers, auto skills centers and movie theaters will close.
— All morale, welfar, and recreation bars will close. Restaurants and quick-service food and beverage outlets will provide to-go orders only. Galley and rations-in-kind operations will remain open, but will eliminate salad bars and enhance efforts for social distancing.
— Child development centers’ school age care will remain open. Teen centers, youth sports and hourly child care will be suspended.
— Religious services on board all installations are suspended until further notice to limit gatherings of more than 10 people in accordance with guidance from the commander-in-chief.
— Beginning Wednesday, commissaries will begin I.D. card checks at the entrance of all stores and will revoke the visitor policy. The measures are in place to reduce the number of people in stores, support social distancing, and minimize crowds.
— Beginning Thursday, “early bird” shopping hours will be eliminated to allow more time for cleaning and re-stocking.
The USNS Mercy, currently in San Diego, is preparing for immediate deployment “as needed to assist potentially overwhelmed counties with acute patient care,” Jonathan Rath Hoffman, assistant to the defense secretary for public affairs, said during a news conference today at the Pentagon.
Marine Corps Installation West, based out of Camp Pendleton, instituted Health Protection Condition Bravo, allowing for increased actions to help mitigate the spread of an unusual health risk or disease.
“Camp Pendleton is prepared to take measured action to preserve the health of the force and prevent the spread of COVID-19 while maintaining our operational readiness and ability to support deploying forces in support of missions in defense off our nation,” a base statement reads.
The Navy announced Tuesday it closed its Training Support Command center in San Diego on Saturday after a third sailor with ties to the school tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus. Two students and an instructor at the school have tested presumptive positive for the illness in the past several days, according to the Navy.
The latest sailor with ties to the school to test positive is stationed aboard the USS Essex and had been attending a course at Naval Base San Diego since Feb. 6.
“The individual is currently isolated at home and restricted in movement,” according to a Navy statement that said personnel who came into contact with the sailor have been notified and are in self-isolation.
Another sailor, aboard the littoral combat ship Coronado based at Naval Base San Diego, also tested positive for COVID-19.
The schoolhouse where the training occurred will remain closed until further notice.
Two Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar have also tested positive for the virus, one on Friday and another on Saturday, leading to new health protections on the base.
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