Sailors test positive for coronavirus after sharing gear fighting the USS Bonhomme Richard fire.
SAN DIEGO — At least two sailors from a U.S. amphibious transport dock have tested positive for the coronavirus after helping to fight this week’s fire aboard the amphibious assault ship Bonhomme Richard, the Navy said.
At least 27 people who were in contact with Sailors who had COVID-19 are now quarantined.
The Navy’s statement on Friday came in response to questions raised by several sailors from the amphibious transport dock San Diego during interviews with The San Diego Union-Tribune. According to the sailors, at least five sailors from their ship have tested positive in the last few days.
The sailors spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to publicly comment on the matter.
The Navy confirmed that two of the sick were at the scene of the fire.
“Two Sailors supporting USS Bonhomme Richard firefighting operations recently tested positive for COVID-19 after exhibiting symptoms,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman, a Navy spokeswoman.
“Contract tracing identified 27 close contacts,” she said. “All contacts were placed in ROM (restriction of movement). The Navy continues to implement COVID-19 mitigation measures to protect the health of our force.”
The sailors from the ship said a significant number of the 27 “close contacts” work in the San Diego’s engineering department and include senior department personnel. The department has increased its staffing rotations to fill in gaps left by those under quarantine, the sailors said.
Citing privacy laws, Schwegman declined to comment on who is quarantined or in which department they work.