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Navy ship bound for San Diego sidelined by COVID-19

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Department of Defense
Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Octavio D. Torres-Lugo administered a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot to a Sailor assigned to USS Halsey in Hawaii, December 21,2021.

A Navy ship is on route to San Diego, after a COVID outbreak on the ship was discovered. It’s the second outbreak this month.

Roughly one third of 300 crew members on board the USS Halsey tested positive for COVID-19. The outbreak was discovered December 10, just as the destroyer was set to change home port from Hawaii to San Diego. All of the crew members who tested positive showed no symptoms or mild symptoms.

None of the sailors were hospitalized or sent to the emergency room. All of the affected crew members were on board the Halsey when it left Hawaii for San Diego Sunday, according to Lt. Sam Boyle, spokesman for the Third Fleet.

Navy ship bound for San Diego sidelined by COVID-19

Roughly 99% of the crew were vaccinated before the outbreak was discovered. All of the crew was vaccinated when they left port. Sailors were also offered booster shots of the vaccine, which are so far not required by the Navy, according to Boyle.

A similar outbreak has also sidelined the USS Milwaukee. The littoral combat ship has been diverted to Guantanamo Bay indefinitely while the crew recovers.

These two outbreaks were the largest ship-board outbreaks for the Navy since early in the pandemic, when the USS Kidd and the aircraft carrier USS Roosevelt were crippled by outbreaks. One sailor from the Roosevelt died and the carrier was sidelined in Guam for months.

None of the crew of the USS Halsey was replaced. Once the ship arrives, it will remain based in San Diego.