Stars and Stripes stripes.com 18 Dec, 2020 04:00 am

Navy sends replacement sailors to USS Essex after crew members catch COVID-19

Navy sends replacement sailors to USS Essex after crew members catch COVID-19
Naval Surface Forces Pacific declined to comment on how many USS Essex sailors were affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak.

SAN DIEGO, Calif.Naval Surface Forces Pacific, headquartered in San Diego, declined to comment on how many sailors on board the Essex were affected by the outbreak but confirmed some of what the sailor, who asked to remain anonymous, told the newspaper.The Essex left San Diego early in December with a contingent of Marines from 1st Battalion, 5th Marines out of Camp Pendleton for Operation Steel Knight/ Dawn Blitz, an annual training exercise.The Essex returned to San Diego Monday.

One in six active-duty Navy sailors is based in San Diego County, according to a 2019 study.Applying that ratio to the service's total active cases suggests about 500 San Diego sailors could be positive for COVID-19.

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