May 19 (UPI) — Nearly 90 sailors have been moved from quarantine to the USS Kidd this week to replace the caretaker crew that has been on the ship since it docked in San Diego at the end of April, the Navy announced on Tuesday.
The Navy said it re-tested 100 percent of the crew before moving them back to the ship, which reported a COVID-19 outbreak on board at the end of April.
“Our number one priority is to protect the health of our force and our families. By doing that, we also help to protect the health of our communities where we serve,” Vice Adm. Richard Brown, Commander of Naval Surface Forces, said in a statement.
“Before we clear any sailor to return to the ship, they must receive two separate negative test results. We’re focused on the health and safety of sailors, and ensuring the full recovery of Kidd’s crew.”
According to the Navy, the Kidd’s crew will continue to clean the ship and care for the crew for about two weeks, and all crew members will be retested before the ship resumes deployment in the Pacific.
The Kidd’s deployment was interrupted when 18 of its 300-person crew tested positive for COVID-19.
The Navy has not released the most recent number of positive tests on the ship.
Over the weekend, 13 sailors on the USS Roosevelt tested positive for COVID-19 after having apparently recovered.
The aircraft carrier, which had been preparing to return to sea, is now conducting simulated at-sea conditions to maintain its capability.