- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 15, 2020

A sailor on a ship based in San Diego has tested positive for the coronavirus, U.S. Navy officials said Sunday.

The sailor, who has not been identified, is assigned to the USS Boxer (LHD-4), an amphibious assault ship. He has tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, marking the first incident involving a sailor aboard a Navy ship.

“We remain in close coordination with state and federal authorities and public health authorities to ensure the well-being of our personnel and local population,” Navy officials said in a statement released Sunday.

The sailor is currently being quarantined at his home in accordance with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Navy officials said they are awaiting confirmation from the CDC about the test.

Anyone who had close contact with the sailor is in self-isolation at their homes. Navy officials in San Diego said none of them are currently aboard the USS Boxer. The crew is conducting a “thorough cleaning” in accordance with CDC guidance, authorities said.

Investigators are continuing to determine whether anyone else was in recent contact with the sailor and possibly exposed. Depending on the results, additional measures may be taken, officials said.

In late October, the ship was in Guam for a port visit. It had earlier taken part in exercise Tiger Strike 2019. U.S. Marines and sailors joined Malaysian military members in jungle survival training, amphibious assaults and cultural exchanges, Navy officials said.

“Our deployment has been successful due to the hard work and dedication of our sailors and Marines, and they are ready for a well-deserved pause in operations,” Capt. Dale Heinken, commander of the USS Boxer, said at the time.

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