US Navy warship suffering COVID outbreak despite 100% vaccination status

(June 27, 2019) An MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle assigned to the Black Knights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 conducts flight operations during an underway with the Freedom-class littoral combat ship USS Milwaukee (LCS 5). Milwaukee is underway conducting routine exercises in the Atlantic Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anderson W. Branch/Released)

Kate Feldman

New York Daily News

The USS Milwaukee has delayed its deployment to South America after sailors tested positive for COVID-19 on board.

The Navy combat ship, which left Mayport, Florida, on Dec. 14, will remain docked at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, where it stopped for a scheduled port visit.

“About two dozen sailors on a U.S. Navy warship — or roughly 25% of the crew — have now tested positive for COVID-19, keeping the ship sidelined in port at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba Monday,” the Associated Press reports.

The Milwaukee’s crew is “100% immunized,” officials said.

“The ship is following an aggressive mitigation strategy in accordance with the Navy and CDC guidelines,” the Navy said in a statement Friday.

Tests have not yet determined whether the COVID-19 strain on board the ship is omicron.

All Navy sailors were required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 28, barring a medical or religious exemption. Those who did not comply were to be fired and face losing their veteran’s benefits.

In March 2020, the USS Theodore Roosevelt saw one of the first COVID-19 outbreaks, with almost 1,000 sailors infected on board. The ship remained docked in Guantanamo for two months and Captain Brett Crozier, who pleaded publicly for help, was fired, accused of overreacting and breaching protocol for ringing the alarm bells.

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